11/20/2013 02:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Rescued Peregrine Falcon: Magic on the Wing


A subjective opinion, of course, but there are few animals quite as elegant as the Peregrine Falcon. Falco peregrines earns that scientific name, in fact, from the elegant crescent or sickle shaped silhouette with the wings extended in flight. To see a Peregrine fly free is to witness something truly magical. But to see one injured, to see him healed by caregivers and then set free, that's being a part of the magic.

This Peregrine was found near San Francisco International Airport in July, grounded and suffering head trauma. He was released last week from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's Center for Compassion following a successful feather implant procedure.

Our Wildlife Rehab team initially provided stabilizing care and anti-inflammatory medication to help get the animal past his trauma. We then called upon our friends at the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group (out of UC-Santa Cruz) who came to our wildlife hospital and performed the procedure, attaching a total of seven new feathers. This allows the bird to fly free, and those implanted feathers will shed and be replaced by his own over time.

The bird thanked us in the best way possible: he flew away from us, fast and high.