We are trying to keep you abreast of the peregrines activities at the rock, but it’s been rather quiet since the juveniles have fledged and flown over to the sand-spit to learn survival skills and hunt. In addition to the comings and goings of the magnificent and regal peregrines, the vultures have been coming in twice a day to visit the old nest site. No black downy chicks have shown up. It is just speculation that they might be there. Bob said they could hatch late in the season because there would be higher attrition rate among other young juvenile birds of all breeds. The vultures would be the clean up crew. We’ll keep watching.
Last Saturday I went up to work at the Coastal Discovery Fair for Friends of the Elephant Seals. At the fair, I met Marcelle who mentioned that a peregrine had been brought into Pacific Wildlife Care on June 26. It had been injured, so I just had to find out what the details were to pass them on to you. Bob mentioned that peregrines who have broken wings are usually from miscalculated kills, hunting accidents, jousting, sparring and collisions with power lines and guy wires.
A few days later after a long conversation with Jeri Roberts, I learned that it was a juvenile female falcon found by a boater on the bayside of the sand-spit. It may have been one of our four chicks from the south side of the rock not “Solo” from the north side, who Bob has seen frequently over the past few days. This injured bird had fallen into the water with a broken wing. More carefully examined, it had a left eye abrasion. Pacific Wildlife Care decided to splint the wing because it was the ulna that was broken and could be strapped to the larger bone, the radius. No pinning of the ulna was necessary. Bones in these young birds knit quickly. The peregrine was confined to a small carrier, something an extremely athletic bird doesn’t like at all, but it had to be done so the broken bone would knit. She had her vision limited with a falconer’s hood. So as soon as possible, she’ll be moved into a small flight cage. They then gradually move the bird up to a larger cage when they think it is safe to do so. It’s a delicate balancing act confining the peregrine to have the wing heal and keeping it from becoming depressed from lack of space. Consider an Olympic athlete having a broken bone and being restricted severely until it heals!
She weighed 930 grams on arrival and now weighs 1009 grams. We think she is doing quite well. Average weight for females: 825-1094grams and for males: 550-647grams
At the end of our conversation, I asked her if I would be able to take a photo. “No,” said she. Since this type bird is very territorial and easily upset, it wouldn’t be a good idea. Jeri said that she cautiously feeds this young female so as to not upset her, but she did take a cell phone photo very cautiously for you to see. Can’t see the wing wrap though. We’ll keep in touch, plan to see and photograph her when possible and, of course, see her released! ~Heather