6 November 2008
John Moore had a surprise last month at the construction site where he works on Fort Duquesne Boulevard downtown. There on the balcony, apparently trapped, was a juvenile peregrine falcon. He immediately called the National Aviary and the PA Game Commission.
Todd Katzner arrived from the Aviary and captured the bird. The peregrine was unbanded so he knew at a glance it was not one of those born in Pittsburgh.
The bird’s plumage gave the nod to its origins. This peregrine was born in the arctic, probably Canada, and was traveling to the tropics and beyond on his first migration. He had become trapped on the construction site and was undernourished and dehydrated.
The National Aviary does not rehabilitate birds so, coordinating with Wildlife Conservation Officer Beth Fife, Todd took the peregrine to the Animal Rescue League Wildlife Center in Verona where it was fed and rehydrated.
Time is of the essence. This peregrine has far to go to complete his migration and he needs food along the way. He arrived here with the push of migratory birds (his food source) and he needs to resume his journey while there’s still enough to hunt on the wing. His destination is South America, a journey as long as Elizabetha’s. He can’t afford to linger in Pittsburgh.
Fortunately, after two weeks of rehabilitation, Jill Argall of the Wildlife Center deemed that this peregrine is in good condition and ready to leave. He was released this morning at 9:30AM.
Good luck to him. We wish him well in this, his first and hardest year of life.
p.s.: See the video of his release at http://www.post-gazette.com/multimedia/?videoID=101161
(photo by Dr. Todd Katzner of the National Aviary)