We Say Goodbye to a Good Friend….Fly Free Donna

Once again we must say goodbye to a valued member of our Rfalconcam community. It’s never easy, and that goes doubly so for Donna.

Donna had been following the Rochester falcons for many years and was an active participant in social media going all the way back to the Birdcam days when Mariah and Kaver nested on the Kodak Tower. She was a prolific poster to the Rfalconcam Forum with over 25,000 posts and starting more then 4,000 discussion topics ranging from informative nature stories to custom created birthday cards. In addition, each year during the holiday season she encouraged members to share online greeting cards and collected them in a gallery.

Although she resided in New Jersey, she made numerous trips to Rochester to see our falcons and take part in the annual fledge watch much to the delight of the locals.

Donna also worked behind the scenes at Rfalconcam. She was one of the administrators of Rfalconcam’s Facebook page, posting photos several times a day and replying to comments from thousands of followers. She also tweeted on occasion as Rfalconcam on Twitter. And her “behind the scenes” contribution did not stop there. For many years, Donna took part in Banding Day as a moderator who posted banding information and answered questions in real time on the Forum and Facebook. Sadly, this year she was not able to participate due to passing of her beloved husband Ed just a few days earlier.

And if that weren’t enough uncredited work, Donna also doubled as a part-time camera operator of Camera 1 to help us keep an eye on the falcons throughout the year. For her outstanding service to the Rfalconcam community, Donna was given the honor of naming an eyas Charlotte in 2017.

After Ed’s death, Donna became more focused on family and planned to move to Spokane to be closer to her young granddaughter. Despite the rigors of moving, she still remained active on Rfalconcam.

If I had to summarize Donna’s presence in Rfalconcam, I’d put it this way:

If our falcon watchers are the heart of Rfalconcam,
and if that weirdo in the bathrobe with his crayons is the brains of Rfalconcam,
then Donna was the voice of Rfalconcam (or at least a huge part of it).

Now that voice is greatly diminished.

And the silence is deafening.

Miss you, Donna. Fly free.

This was written by Rfalconcam member Shaky. This heartfelt farewell is shared by all of us who knew her.

4 Responses to “We Say Goodbye to a Good Friend….Fly Free Donna”

  1. Joyce says:

    Beautiful tribute! Thank- you. Donna will be greatly missed. Fly Free my friend with all your favorite falcons including, Mariah, Kaver, Archer, Unity, Charlotte* and Seth*.
    * There are other offspring that tears have been shed over, but Donna contributed to naming these two.

  2. Susan wellington says:

    Beautiful grub Ute Shaky. I haven’t been following the falcons like I should have been for the past few years. But I will miss Donna’s posts. She is now able to fly with those beautiful falcons that passed before her. I know they were waiting to greet her at pearly gates. Fly free Donna. You will be missed.

  3. Kathy Braman says:

    This was a beautiful and fitting tribute to Donna. Thank you, Shaky.
    Donna was so involved and such a prominent figure in the rfalconcam, that I had no clue she was not from Rochester. God Bless you, Donna. I send my love and support to your family and friends. We will forever remember you and “speak your name”.

  4. Mary Freeman-Dove says:

    To all Donna’s Family, Friends, & Fellow Falcon Folks
    Your tributes to Donna are loving and lovely. She made a huge contribution to the Rfalconcam community in so many ways, for a lotta years. She will be sorely missed by the members of the community whose lives she touched. What a loss for all! Fly free, Donna!