Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Good Day For a Falcon Release

We're happy to report that the juvenile peregrine recovered from the London Correctional Facility earlier in October was released today!  Here is Kristi Krumlauf of the Ohio Wildlife Center giving the falcon its freedom.  It flew strong and climbed high in the sky and soared on a warm, thermal air current.  Last we saw it was a mere spec against a blue sky background drifting towards the south.
While the falcon was unbanded so we don't know where it came from, it does however, begin the next chapter in its life with leg bands so if/when it is located again researchers will at least know it detoured through Madison County, Ohio, in its first fall on the wing. Thanks much to Kristi and the other staff at OWC for treating this bird.
 The other "mystery" peregrine recovered from downtown Columbus in early September is no longer a mystery.  This falcon, a female, was banded at the Westinghouse Bridge in East Pittsburgh, PA, on July 1 and fledged approximately July 18.  "As the peregrine flies" its hatch location is about 169 miles from Columbus: 
The plan for this peregrine patient is still to imp feathers with the intention of a release yet this fall.
Finally, Blaze continues to have issues with flight so there isn't much to update at this time.  The next step is to take another look at the keel via x-ray.  Hopefully, next post we'll have more information.   

Friday, October 10, 2014

Peregrines on the Move

Fall migration is a busy time for birds and peregrines are no exception!  We have had numerous reports of peregrines illustrating the point that birds of all sizes and shapes are moving through the state.

Recently, an unbanded juvenile was recovered at the London Correctional Institution, about 30 miles west of Columbus.  It is believed the falcon was stunned from hitting a window at the prison.  Medical exams showed no major injury.  It's flight capability will be evaluated and if all checks out OK, the bird will be released as soon as feasible.  Earlier this week, we banded this peregrine in anticipation of a release.
The origin of the  "mystery" falcon that was recovered in downtown Columbus in early September remains a mystery for the most part.  We are waiting for confirmation on the location before specific information is released.  It is about ready to go but a couple of the primary flight feathers have weak areas so it will need a few feathers imped before release since it won't replace those feathers until next summer's molt.  (Imping is replacing a bird's broken flight feather with the same part of a molted feather.)

Finally, Blaze is doing so-so.  She doesn't have much drive to fly withing the enclosure but she is killing live prey!  Her hunting abilities and flight capabilities are under evaluation and again, we are hopeful that all checks out OK and she will be able to be released soon. 

All in all, not much new information in this report other than another "stay tuned" --we hope to have great news on all of the birds soon.  Once the patients are given the thumbs up for release we still will need to factor in weather, choosing only to release them when conditions are favorable so as to give them the best chance possible. 

Camera update:  the computer that streams the nestbox camera image has developed a hardware issue.  Therefore, the nestbox view will be unavailable during the time needed for evaluation and repair.