Last week when we last checked in on the Injured Peregrine Falcon 568, she was a tad jumpy and we weren't able to peek in. Two of The Raptor Center Vets, Lori Arent (that's actually Lori on the home page of the TRC website) and Jane Goggin emailed over some photos when they did a check up on her:
As you can see, her feisty spirit has not diminished. Lori and Jane were worried because anytime anyone came near the flight room, she would get jumpy and all the other peregrines in the flight room with her would start flapping around. One of the things that make peregrine falcons so fast are their incredibly stiff wing feathers. If the peregrines continued to fly around willy nilly in the flight room, that would risk breaking those feathers and increasing the length of their stay at TRC. (Incidentally, when someone tells me that they had a raptor show up at their bird feeder and it ran on the ground, dove into a bush chasing birds, that is a big clue that it's NOT a peregrine falcon--a peregrine would break too many valuable flight feathers hunting in that way--however, a shorter winged and softer feathered Cooper's hawk is perfectly designed for that type of hunting).
Jane and Lori decided to do some switching around of the peregrines in the flight room to see if that would make all the birds more calm. They removed a male and put in a different one. When I arrived on Tuesday for my shift, Lori said that it would okay for me to peek through a corner of the cover on the flight room window to see how she is doing:
That's Peregrine 568 on the right--note how skinny the foot is on the left--that's where the feathers were plucked to operate on her injured bones. Now she is upright, hanging with another male tundrius peregrine falcon and staying relatively calm. There's also a third falcon--a large female which you can't see from this angle. From this point, she will have to be exercised and her flight progress closely monitored to make sure she will be in peak condition for release. Since she has not flown since she flew into the nets at the banding station, her flight muscles have atrophied a bit. She will need conditioning to get used to flying and hunting on a daily basis. Between that and waiting for the feathers on her leg to grow in, she will more than likely be at TRC until spring.
All in all, things are looking very good.