Dale started working with raptors in the late 60s as a young boy growing up on his family’s farm in Palmetto, GA. He had become interested in birds while watching Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” on Sunday afternoons with Jim Fowler and Marlin Perkins. Dale pursued falconry and continued to work and hunt with his birds while serving in law enforcement. After 27 years in law enforcement, Dale was forced to retire due to a cervical injury. However, his injury did not stop his work with raptors.
Soon after retiring from law enforcement, a job opportunity to work at Callaway Gardens presented itself to Dale. Dale trained their birds of prey and started their raptor programs. He was able to stay and lecture there for four years. Dale had the fortune of working with Jim Fowler, Okeefenokee Joe, and others who later aided him in fulfilling his dream of establishing an educational show and organization called Winged Ambassadors. Over the years, Dale has trained and flown several species of falcons, hawks, owls, vultures, and even eagles. His show ranges from pure falconry shows, to environmental education, to even lectures throughout the southeast
During his leisure time, Dale will often spend time in the fields with his raptor companions, watching them in the skies as the bonds with his birds are fortified.
Dale brings extensive knowledge into his programs and receives support from both Auburn University and his life-long hero and close friend, Jim Fowler.
Jesse Nieto (Volunteer, Retired Marine Infantry)
A Native American (Comanchee Indian), Retired Marine Infantry (1960-1985), two Vietnam tours, one Middle East, two tours as a Drill Instructor, and one tour as NROTC instructor at the University of Illinois, Campaign III; Jesse spent many years travelling the World.
Jesse Nieto retired after 20 years Civil Service at Camp LeJeune N.C. and met Dale at a shooting range. Since then, Jesse has volunteered to help at numerous shows with these magnificent raptors and enjoys teaching others about Falconry.
"To watch the eyes of young people as they see these Raptors, the World is good".
Christian Shallabarger (Falconer)
My name is Christian Shellabarger. I am 19 and a general falconer. I am currently hunting with a tiercel Aplomado falcon. I have been with Winged Ambassadors since 2011. Dale Arrowood was my sponsor for my apprenticeship and after that, I joined his team of falconers and volunteers.
Marissa Shelton (Volunteer)
Hi, I'm Marissa! I have been an animal lover since I was a little girl! I'm currently studying Organismal Biology at Auburn University and dream of having a career conserving wildlife.
Jeanna "Jay" Pugh (Volunteer)
Born in September of 1994, Jeanna was singing before she could speak. She started writing lyrics in the 4th grade and music as soon as she picked up the guitar at age 13. "My friends have all been asking how in the world I got involved with birds of prey," she says. "All I've ever wanted to do was music."
Jeanna met Dale in a parking lot in Newnan, GA with Czar, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, where she held a live bird for the first time. "I instantly fell in love. Looking into his eyes, there was a moment of proof to me that God is real and these creatures he's designed... they're incredible. We have to fight for them. We have to educate the public on how to care for our environment so that they can continue to live in it because they do so much good for our world." Jeanna informed Dale that she was a brand new below the knee amputee and that she wanted to get back into music as soon as she got used to her prosthetic. He asked her if she was good at speaking to people and if she wanted to be involved.
"My answer was 'absolutely yes'. Dale was so sweet and took his time educating me about these magnificent birds and I wanted to do the same for other people. It has been an honor getting to know Dale and the rest of the crew thus far. I'm in love with these people just as much as I am these birds. They're family to me at this point. Our feathered friends and unfeathered ones. Even on days when my leg is in more pain than usual, if there's a show, I'm getting up and going. Winged Ambassadors reminds me on daily basis that there is so much good left in the world. Being involved with this organization is one of the biggest blessings and I'm just so appreciative to have been given this opportunity. I've been telling all my friends they've got to come to the shows. Seeing the personalities of each of these birds and all their different characteristics... it's mesmerizing."
Jeanna is currently working on some tunes to hopefully incorporate into the shows in the near future .
Emerson (Volunteer and Master Falconer in training)
Emerson Miller first got involved in falconry in 2012 at age 11 while attending a veterinarian summer camp at Auburn University. After seeing their birds, Emerson studied falconry for a few months before joining the Georgia Falconry Association and attending falconry meets. Emerson was fortunate to find Dale Arrowood’s programs and began attending nearly every one out of appreciation of the birds. Dale saw Emerson’s interest and knowledge in the birds and offered to take her under his wing. Emerson has been working with Dale Arrowood and Winged Ambassadors ever since, and continues to study raptors, falconry, and the natural world. She hopes to get her falconry license to work with birds of her own sometime in the future.
Miss Tanya (Marketing and Trainer)
Originally from South Africa, I have made Atlanta my home for almost 15 years. Kennesaw State University awarded me a Tennis Scholarship and graduated with degrees in both Psychology and Marketing. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and USPTA Certified Tennis Teaching Professional. I have been with Winged Ambassadors for over three years and am what one may call an "animal junkie"!!!! I just love animals, and am one cat short of "crazy cat lady".
Winged Ambassadors is a part of my life. These birds are amazing.
Greg Shelton (Volunteer and Trainer)
I attended Appalachian State University where I played football. Graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. I have been a police officer with The Fulton County Police Department for 21 years. I am currently the Range Master in charge of firearms training for the department and also a member of our SWAT TEAM. Dale Arrowood was actually my instructor when I was in the Academy. I have stayed in touch with Dale over the years even after he retired. I have him come in and assist me with teaching police cadets how to shoot.
I have been very active with Winged Ambassoders for over a year and really enjoy working with the birds. I am currently working on my apprentice falconry certification.
The thing I like most about falconry is being part of something that goes back thousands of years and sharing a sport with the likes ofsome of the most famous people in history like Moses, Isiah and General George Patton.
Kevin Keeble (Permitted Falconer, and Coweta County Deputy Sheriff)
In 2005 Kevin attended Jacksonville State University to study environmental biology. In 2008 Kevin was employed by the Coweta County Sheriff's office to begin a career in law enforcement. In 2013, under the tootiledge of Dale, Kevin got his Falconry permit and began practicing the sport of falconry. Since then Kevin has been assisting Dale with educational programs as well learning as much as possible about the sport as well as the birds that allow us to share in that experience.