Pittsburgh Pete’s in rehab

Pittsburgh Pete in rehab in Hamilton, Ontario (photo by Judy Bailey)Back on August 5 I reported on a male peregrine born at the Gulf Tower in 2006 who was injured in a fight at the Burlington Lift Bridge in Canada. 

Nicknamed “Pittsburgh Pete,” he nested successfully at the Lift Bridge and raised four young but in late June a rival showed up and nearly killed him. 

Pete survived his injuries and seemed to be doing well but his rival did not leave the scene.  Observers noticed that Pete’s mate seemed to tolerate the rival.  What next?

On November 9 Pete was found unable to fly.  Judy Bailey, an Animal Control Officer for the City of Hamilton, Ontario, came to his rescue and took him to the vet where he was examined and x-rayed.  None of his bones were broken.  Perhaps he had soft tissue damage or a mild head trauma.  In human terms that could be a sprain or a ligament injury or a bop on the head.

After his vet visit Pete settled in at Judy’s aviary where she’s feeding him gutted quail and giving him every opportunity to recuperate.  Since he can’t fly more than a foot or two off the ground, Judy constructed climbing branches so that he can walk his way up to a high perch as shown in Judy’s photo. 

Pete visited the vet again last Monday and had more x-rays.  He still shows no signs of bone damage but he droops his left wing.  His injury is between his “elbow” and “shoulder” but the extent of the damage is unknown.

Considering his troubles, Pete is doing well and gaining weight.  But by now he’s certainly lost his territory at the Lift Bridge and it would be dangerous for him to go back there. 

His future will be complicated whether he recovers or not.   I’ll keep you posted as I hear more from Judy.

(photo by Judy Bailey, Animal Control Officer for the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

9 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Pete’s in rehab

  1. Hello Kate,
    My husband and I were two of many volunteers watching over the Peregrines at the Lift Bridge. We find it hard to believe that Pete’s in rehab as we were watching an adult pair on November 27th of this year. So was it a different male with last year’s female, is the question now that we were looking at. Do you know for sure the person from Animal Control had the colours and code on the band correct? And we were just curious as to the exact location the bird was found.
    Linda Cherriere

  2. Thanks for the update, Kate.
    Sounds like he may have flown into something which has left him somewhat brain damaged. Thus the drooping wing. Difficult times ahead for him, no doubt. Sad.

  3. Linda, yes they are quite sure of Pittsburgh Pete’s identity. I have uploaded another picture by Judy Bailey clearly showing 3K’s bands. Click on the blog picture above & you’ll see it.
    If you want more information on 3K, perhaps City of Hamilton Animal Control can help.

  4. NEWS UPDATE ON PITTSBURGH PETE from Judy Bailey, 22 Jan 2009:

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I had Pete back to the vet on the 13th and was waiting on the results of the blood work before I emailed you.

    When I had Pete to the vet before Xmas, we discovered that he was a little anaemic. As he’s been getting vitamin powder on his quail every day, this recent blood work shows that his anaemia is most improved. The vet is no longer considering giving Pete B12 shots. I had a more complete work up done this time around and besides the anaemia, his protein and potassium are a little low. It’s possible that these 3 issues may be lingering results of his injury back in June. His faecal still show negative for parasites.

    I also had his noggin x-rayed and found absolutely no indication of skull fracture, clotting or swelling. His wings were included in the x-ray and both still look symmetrical. Occasionally, he will droop his left wing; I think the local Red tail is buzzing Pete and causing him to fly around the aviary too much. Thus, creating some fatigue. He is still using the ramps to get up to the perches.

    I recently had him confined in the house for a few days to let my boys exercise in the aviary. The rest seemed to be good for Pete. Once back in the aviary, his flight from one corner perch to the other was a bit stronger and quicker and he rarely drooped his wing. He continues to eat well; I warm the quail before giving it to him. Strangely enough, Pete seems to be enjoying his “vacation” at Motel Bailey!!

    Take care & I’ll up date you again in a while.

    Ps: I’ll try and get a couple new pics off to you soon!

  5. Thank you so much for the update on Pete, happy to hear he is progressing well and is enjoying his vacation! I can’t wait to see the photos!

  6. Hello Judy

    I don’t imagine it’s even a possibility releasing Pete now. If another male is present, certainly both the male and the resident female would reject Pete and probably have to physically escort him away possibility injuring Pete or worse in order to get their point across. Is Pete going to get the 2009 off?

    Thanks for rehabbing Pete… He looks great!

    Hamilton Ontario

  7. Poor Pete. Those French Canadian Chicks really play hard to get.Now Petey has an assisted living arrangement. Where is Pittsburgh Pete today 6-4-14?

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