Pittsburgh Pete, as he was nicknamed in Canada, has been through a lot in his three years. He was born at Pittsburgh's Gulf Tower in 2006 and flew to Burlington, Ontario where he nested successfully at the Lift Bridge in 2008. At the end of that nesting season he was gravely injured by a rival peregrine. He recovered from that injury but was attacked again, lost his nest site and nearly lost his life. He ended up in rehab last November at the aviary of Judy Bailey, an Animal Control Officer for the City of Hamilton, Ontario.
Though he's received the best of medical care Pete has never fully recovered from his injuries. He has no detectable head or wing injury but he has seizures so he can't be released into the wild.
As soon as his health improved Judy tried to find Pete a permanent home but it was hard to place him because of his seizures. His luck turned recently when Mountsberg Conservation in Campbellville, Ontario said they would take him for their Bird of Prey education program if he will sit quietly on the glove. All Pete has to do is learn a new skill and get clearance from Canada's Ministry of Natural Resources.
To be an educational bird Pete needs to accept human contact from his trainers and tolerate humans nearby, so Judy is teaching him how. She writes, "He took to being tethered remarkably well! The day after I jessed him, he walked about a foot to my glove, latched on with one foot and ate the quail. By the 3rd or 4th day he hopped onto the glove and ate. Within a few days I was able to pet his feet, legs and belly. He's not thrilled but he tolerates it. He will still get a bit antsy, at times, when I get close to the perch/booth, however, he quickly settles and eyes the glove. He'll get very vocal with me at times!! ...Incidentally, I have not witnessed a seizure since he has been tethered!!"
This is great news because Pete's future hangs on his ability learn these lessons. I think he can do it. Pete's a very resilient bird.
(photo by Judy Bailey)