Thursday, September 3, 2009

New patients include Immature Peregrine Falcon

( Photo: An immature Peregrine Falcon was found injured by the Columbia Generating Station near Pardeeville, WI. Here he is with REGI staffer Aprill Jeager.)

Another busy week here at REGI. Time gets away from me when patients flood in.
We admitted an immature Peregrine Falcon from the Columbia Generating Plant near south of Portage, WI. He was one of three youngsters hatched from a nest box put on the plant in efforts to provide nesting areas for peregrines in the Mid-west. All of the young Peregrine Falcons are banded and followed closely by a great group of folks including Greg Septon of Wisconsin Falconwatch. This young bird was named Larry by the team at Columbia Generating Plant.

( Photo: Here we are re hydrating the young Peregrine Falcon with oral electolye fluid to help stabilize him.)

We are not sure what happened exactly, but the young falcon was found on the ground unable to fly. His right wing is fractured as well as his right leg. He was weak and lethargic when he arrived, but has stabilized. He is doing well so far and has even begun to put gentle weight on the leg. That is a good thing. He is eating but not as well as we would like. We are supplementing his diet wtih force feeding to assure his calorie intake stays at a good level.

Peregrine falcons are very fast in flight. They have been clocked at diving at over 240 M.P.H.. When they are young and new to flying, they make mistakes. It is one thing if a young robin crashes on landing, but when diving at 200 M.P.H. and miss a landing, the consequences are much greater for the bird. It takes some practice before they are skilled at controlling the great speed they were blessed with. It is like giving a 12 yr old boy a race car and letting him use it at will. Crashes happen as you can imagine. When they crash they tend to get pretty banged up because of the rate of speed they are traveling.

( Photo: Young Peregrine Falcon rests as he recovers from a broken wing and leg. In photo taken on Monday. We think he looks a bit embarrassed to be in rehabilitation after what was likely a mistake in his judgement of speed and solid object.)

We certainly hope for a full recovery for this young super star. It is amazing to think that the species once had such low numbers people were worried they may disappear from our country. It is a testimony to a group of committed people to make a difference for a species. In this case The Peregrine Fund and Wisconsin Falconwatch as well as many independent biologists, breeders and falconers that made the difference for the Peregrine Falcon. These people often dedicate much of their life to the survival of this species. When I look at the young peregrine, I see the results of their hard work. Of course, I also see a strikingly handsome youngster all on his own.:)

Migration is in full swing here in northern Wisconsin. The leaves have begun to turn brilliant colors ALREADY, and we have had two nights when the temperature dipped below freezing and those were still in August. The Farmers Almanac indicates we are in for a bitterly cold and dry winter. That word BITTERLY is there word not mine. I am trying not to think about it.

More on the new admits and releases soon.

Best to all,
Marge Gibson 2009

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