Ronald Stevens was born in England and privately educated. Not wanting to join the family business, he became overseer of his father’s cattle farm in Worcestershire. There he pursued his interest in ornithology and cultivated a large collection of waterfowl, which was ultimately moved to an estate in Shropshire in the 1930s. However, the estate was requisitioned for military use in World War II, and the collection was destroyed.
Following this, Stevens dedicated his life to falconry, a sport that completely captivated him; few falconers developed greater or more enduring reputations for their passion and commitment. In 1956, to find solitude and to escape the overgrowth of bracken on the English moors, Stevens moved permanently to Connemara in County Galway, Ireland, where he lived until his death in early 1994 at age 91.
Described as a quiet, kind man, gentle by nature and always somewhat embarrassed by his fame, he was an able and painstaking tutor in falconry to those who requested his help. He maintained an enormous correspondence with falconers throughout the world and was always welcoming to those who traveled to his isolated home.