BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A young Peregrine falcon has a new chance at a healthy life in the skies after being rescued Thursday in Buffalo by an SPCA rescue agent.
The injured bird is now being nursed back to health by the SPCA Serving Erie County, at their new facility in West Seneca.
Barbara Haney, Director of Wildlife at the SPCA, says the bird likely just hatched a few months ago. She also said she knows it is a fledgling from a nest on the Statler building in Buffalo, due to banding that the DEC puts on all Peregrine falcons, to track populations of the endangered species. According to the bird's tags, his name is Franklin.
"It just came out of the nest, so it's a little awkward, and probably got in trouble -- and slammed into something," Haney said. "We can only guess how it got injured, but the injury is definitely an impact injury."
She also said it's mainly part of the bird's shoulder, a bone called the coracoid, that was broken.
Beverly Jones, a Wildlife Vet Technician with the SPCA Serving Erie County, says at one time it was thought birds with this injury would never be able to fly again.
However, a study was then done that found 98 percent of birds of prey with this injury were releasable after using a wing wrap and cage rest.
So Franklin has a wing wrap and is being kept in an enclosed area so the injury is able to heal.
Jones also said he is undergoing physical therapy every few days.
"We are hopeful, but we will have to see...it's guarded at this point, in terms of his release-ability," she said.
Haney expressed her appreciation to the community for being able to help an endangered Peregrine falcon thanks to the specialized wildlife animal hospital at the new SPCA Serving Erie County Facility West Seneca facility.
"Now we are lucky to have a facility where we can treat those birds in an effective way," she said.
She also described some of the unique features of Peregrine falcons, a species that has been brought back from the brink of extinction in the 1960s.
"Peregrine falcons are elite flyers," she said. "They are the fastest animals on earth. They reach speeds greater than 200 miles an hour. We've designed jet fighter planes after their anatomy."
It's hoped with the specialized care of the SPCA over the next few months, Franklin will once again be able to take to the skies of Western New York and help his species continue to flourish.