Mongolia- The NEXT Great Eagle Huntress
The Story of Ay Moldir
I would like to introduce you to the next great Eagle Huntress, Ay Moldir (pronounced Eye Mudear).Many of you have heard of the documentary “The Eagle Huntress” about a young girl named Aisholpan and her rise to winning the Eagle Festival, a centuries-old tradition that had never had a woman let alone a young girl.If you have not yet watched it, I HIGHLY recommend it! Be warned, you will want to come to Mongolia after seeing it.  We are fortunate that we have met and photographed Aisholpan in the past.Because of that documentary, Mongolia quickly rose in tourism. Aisholpan became very famous and she paved the way for women to become Eagle Hunters. Then the pandemic hit. Prior to that, Conde Nest and other travel publications had voted Mongolia as one of the top 10 locations in the world to travel.
Ally and David with Aisholpan, “The Eagle Huntress” in 2019 
In July of 2019, on our first trip to Mongolia, we met a young girl named Ay Moldir and her family. They are rich in tradition as Eagle Hunters. At the time, Ay Moldir was only nine years old and was learning the tradition with a falcon.

Upon our return for the Eagle Festival in October of that year, she competed with an eagle. Out of 112 hunters who entered the competition, she came in the top 5! When the eagle landed on her during that competition, she could barely even hold it as it was larger than her!

Photo Tip – Make a Point!

Ay Moldir is only 12 years old but already carries respect and an unmistakable ability to have a presence wherever she goes. 

In this image, as she walked across the valley, the other Hunters were gathered and it set up for an image that really shares how she is at the forefront of becoming the next great Eagle Huntress! 


Fast forward through two plus years of pandemic and we were able to once again visit this amazing country with such wonderful cultural diversity.

I did not know if we would get to see Ay Moldir or not. As we sat and had a meal with her family, all of a sudden she came into the Ger and the place lit up! She carries a presence and infectious smile that you just cannot help but feel. She has what we like to call the “it” factor!


Ay Moldir has continued to train and get stronger and better. She is on the verge of becoming famous herself and without a doubt, will be the next Great Eagle Huntress!

We are so proud to be part of this journey with her and her family. We cannot wait to get back again and continue.

With that, we would LOVE for you to join us where you can meet many of the Great Eagle Hunters and Ay Moldir herself!

Join MPA in Mongolia next July!

Email to be on the first priority notice list! 

Photo Tip – Be Spontaneous 

We were setting up to photograph Ay Moldir in more of a portrait style. All of a sudden, a large bird known as a Kite started to circle out of curiosity about what was happening.  As she looked up, you could see she already had a look of wonder herself. I LOVE when expressions are natural and unplanned. 

This to me is much more of a true sense of who a person is. 

Join MPA in Mongolia next July!

Email to be on the first priority notice list! 

Here, Ay Moldir‘s father Mana releases the eagle as she is waiting below calling it. This is training for the actual competition that will take place in October. 

As you can see, the eagle is as big as Ay Moldir herself when the wings are outstretched. 

This was taken at 1/4000th of a second and using the animal eye detection focus on the Canon R5 along with continuous high-speed shutter mode.