February 1, 2012Peregrine Falcon #10-2118 returned to the Wildlife Center on January 31 for a physical examination and series of radiographs. Falconers Eva and Andrew had seen marked behavior changes in the falcon over the past couple of months and considered it to be non-releasable. Both falconers and Wildlife Center staff wanted to determine if the bird would be healthy enough for placement. When Eva updated us in mid-January on the falcon’s condition, she and Andrew decided to bring the falcon back inside from its mew, just to monitor the bird more closely. That close contact revealed some unexpected, troublesome observations. According to Eva: “Outside in her mew, she did not show any signs that anything was wrong. But now that she's inside and feels safe and comfortable, she tries to get off her feet and lies down as soon as she feels unwatched. I put down towel piles so she can lie comfortably and not bruise her keel, but so far she has not taken up the offer and lies straight on the floor.” On radiographs, Dr. Dave and Dr. Miranda found that the falcon’s right stifle [knee] was injured – as well as the surrounding leg bones. There was also severe muscle atrophy of the falcon’s right thigh and leg. Dr. Dave and Dr. Miranda reviewed all of the falcon’s previous radiographs, looking to see if there was something overlooked on a prior examination. Nothing obvious was noted – one very subtle abnormality may be seen on a set of radiographs from the spring of 2011 (when the bird returned from Indiana), but it is very difficult to tell if this was the start of a larger problem, or just something that appears abnormal due to the technique and positioning of the bird on radiographs. Because the bird’s joint was damaged – a painful injury – it could not be repaired. The veterinary team made the difficult decision to euthanize the falcon.
January 23, 2012Peregrine Falcon #10-2118 has been with falconers Eva and Andrew King since September 2011. Our hope was that the bird's condition would improve once she molted and replaced her damaged feathers. Things have not picked up for the falcon. Eva reports that the bird is not moving around the outdoor enclosure much and is not using her higher perches. The falcon spends much of her time on the ground, even though she has many other options. The peregrine has also been damaging new feathers that grow in. At this point, the falconers and the Wildlife Center staff believe that the peregrine may be non-releasable. The Center will begin to assess possible placements.
December 8, 2011Over the past few months, the Peregrine Falcon has been settling back in with falconers Eva and Andrew. Eva notes that it's been slow-going -- but that's okay. With the stress of the peregrine's escape, recovery, injuries, and treatment over the spring and summer, the bird's feathers weren't in the best condition, and first and foremost, she needs to molt before doing any flight training. Eva reports that the falcon has been doing just that -- and is growing a new set of feathers while hopping and flapping around her mew [enclosure] at Eva and Andrew's house.
September 8, 2011In early August, the Peregrine Falcon was moved into a larger outdoor enclosure. This time around, the falcon began utilizing the space and was observed perching in a variety of places around the enclosure. All summer, the Wildlife Center staff have been in touch with the falconers who were working with the Peregrine earlier this year. Once the veterinary staff were comfortable with her recovery, the plan was to transfer the bird to Eva and Andrew again to resume flight training and conditioning. With continued good reports in August, Wildlife Center staff decided the time had come to transfer the falcon. On September 7, Dr. Dave transported the falcon to Eva and Andrew. We'll look forward to receiving reports on the Peregrine Falcon's progress. Previous postings on the Peregrine Falcon The Wildlife Center depends on the donations of caring individuals for the health care provided to this Peregrine Falcon -- and to about 2,500 wild animals in need each year. Please help!