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Rock The Boat

By AZGFD 

Phoenix's Newest Residents

Peregrine Falcon Chicks Welcomed

 

Peregrine Falcon Adult

Peregrine Chick

Weak Legs Required Splints

At press time, we at AZBW/WOT are hoping for a good outcome.

After more than 30 days of anticipation by viewers around the world, the first of downtown Phoenix’s peregrine falcon eggs was welcomed on Mother’s Day after hatching at 7 p.m. that Sunday. However, at press time, the news had become guarded.

A peregrine falcon chick hatched in a nest box on a downtown high-rise was seen struggling, causing the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) to take action. The wild peregrine chick, whose hatching was captured by a dedicated web-video camera, was having difficulty using its legs, causing it to fall and flail its wings.

AZGFD turned off the video feed, and while the peregrine parents were away, removed the chick from the nest box for examination. The chick was taken to the Phoenix Dog/ Cat/ Bird Hospital, where veterinary staff donated their services and took x-rays to reveal any physical problems.

The bird was in acceptable health, but had splayed legs, which made it difficult for it to stand or move normally. Small splints were fitted to the bird’s legs to rectify the problem before it was placed back in the nest.

Arizona Game And Fish biologists will continue to monitor the nest-cam and evaluate the chick’s progress over the next several days. Estimates are that, if all goes well, the chick’s splints may be removed after a week.

“While we are guardedly optimistic about the chick’s chances, despite our best efforts and hopes, sometimes nature has other plans,” said Babb. “It’s important to note that this chick is not out of the woods yet.”

The peregrine web-camera is part of AZGFD’s Wildlife Viewing program, which encourages Arizonans to learn more about the wonders of Wildlife. An account (https://donation.azgfd.gov/donation) has been set up to help defray the costs of the department’s web-cameras.

Peregrine falcons have been nesting in the downtown Phoenix area for more than a decade. Maricopa County partnered with the department and is allowing biologists to monitor the birds and access the nest site when necessary.

More On Peregrine Falcons

Peregrine falcons are one of the world’s most widespread raptors and are found on nearly every continent. The species nearly went extinct in North American from pesticide poisoning, but thanks to recovery efforts, the species was removed from the U.S.’s Endangered Species Act in 1999.

Peregrines feed almost exclusively on medium-sized birds such as pigeons and doves, which are plentiful in urban areas.

The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a cosmopolitan bird of prey in the family Falconidae. It can also be known just as the peregrine, and was once called the "Duck hawk" in North America.

The peregrin is a crow-sized falcon, with a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". It can go at up to 200 mph in a dive, which means it is the fastest animal in the world.

Peregrine Falcon Chick

 As with other bird-eating raptors, the female is bigger than the male. There are 17–19 subspecies recorded, and each varies slightly in appearance and where they live.

The use of certain pesticides, especially DDT was not good for the birds. It could be shown that in areas where DDT was used, the thickness of the shells of their eggs was reduced. This caused a dramatic decline in their numbers, in certain countries.

Since the use of DDT has been forbidden in many countries, their numbers are increasing. This recovery was helped because their nesting places were protected in many countries; some also bred these falcons in captivity and released them into the wild.

 

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