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Video by Bob Isenberg
Opening the box to release the rehabilitated juvenile peregrine
Video by Bob Isenberg
This is a story that we here in Morro Bay have been waiting for. The young injured falcon. Heather has done all the leg work, phone calls, logistics, news, etc. I think it is hers to tell. Happy trails, Bob
I guess the ball is in my court, so here goes… When I was at the Coastal Discovery Fair for Friends of the Elephant Seals last month, Marcelle, a friend, mentioned that she had heard of and injured falcon, so I went on a search to find out what had happened. Links to the Pacific Wildlife Care Center connected me to Jeri Roberts who was rehabilitating the peregrine. Its wing had been broken most likely in a crash with prey due to a miscalculated kill or jousting or a collision with a power lines or guy wire. Lots of possibilities, but the broken ulna needed to be wrapped to the more stable and stronger radius bone. She was mending.
After weeks of careful and conscientious attention, this young falcon who had been injured June 26 was now ready to be released. Jeri had increased the size of her cage gradually from a small confining crate to a 30 foot flight cage. We wanted to release her on the sand-spit where the she had been found. We needed a boat, a way to transport her. We spoke with Kevin at SubSeas Whale Watching Tours who suggested that we might call on the Harbor Patrol. Putting her in the same location where she had been found would be the best.
Leaving home in Prefumo Canyon, Jeri had said that the falcon had started quacking when she smelled the sea air near Los Osos and more loudly quacked as the car in which she rode neared the Morro BayCoast Guard Station. Off we went on the Harbor Patrol boat skippered by Jeremiah to the sand-spit. Stepping onto the sand-spit, we climbed the sliding sand up to the perfect place to release her, a wide open area. Jeri opened the blue box lid slowly and off our youngster went, so gracefully on wing, flapping and gliding and covering distance so easily. She was a very happy bird! She made a few loops to orient herself and started to gain height and go further. The falconer’s term is “she was ringing up.” We were all amazed at her strength and stamina. Jeri was so pleased to see the conditioning of our very athletic bird paid off. Often a bird would fly and then quickly rest. This one had the endurance needed to go far and wide. Off and over Morro Bay and the Estuary towards the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History. She then perched in a very tall eucalyptus. She had recovered.
After a small jaunt to the mouth of the inlet to see thousands of Sooty Shearwaters and a few humpback whales spouting, we all headed back to the dock having seen the very satisfying recovery of a peregrine falcon. ~Heather
My trip out to see the whales was super, but I must practice my video technique on a moving boat on a windy day to do justice to the grace and beauty of these magnificent and graceful whales. Please see the posting below.