Rik Davis was a legend. And he touched and inspired more people than many of us will ever meet.

I did not know Rik and I am poorly equiped to write very much about him. But he did touch my life. For what seems like decades, I have been hearing about Pale Male and the people that have studied, loved and fought for him and his family over the years. And one of the names that was invariably brought up at the same name, was that of Rik Davis.

I said that I did not know him, but I did get to meet him just two weeks ago. He was on his park bench with a couple of spotting scopes pointing up to the sky. And I wanted to savour the moment, so I took a minute to just watch him, and the passers-by as their faces lit up every time they dived in to the world of the Red-tailed Hawks.

Approaching slowly, I too dived in to that world to experience three little chicks on the nest. And to hear Rik bubble with the other people meeting Pale Male, Zena and their little babies.

Rik Davis passed away last week. Many will miss him. Many more will never know they missed him.




A big thanks to the photographer Paul Quitoriano for sending me the photos of Rik for this post. Very kind of you.

They remain Paul’s copyrighted work.




Written by Dale Forbes
Dale grew up in the forests and savannas of South Africa, developing a love for nature from a young age. After studying Zoology and Wildlife Science, he moved to Central America to continue his work in conservation biology. He is a member of BirdLife International’s Advisory Board and is Swarovski Optik’s Head of Strategic Business Development.