PULLMAN, Wash. - A peregrine falcon has been nursed to health at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and is now ready to be returned to the wild.
The release will take place Tuesday (Jan. 24) at noon near Tammany High School in Lewiston. WSU veterinarians have chosen the site because of a better food supply this time of year and because of its proximity to the bird's original flyway.
Joining in the release will be students at Tammany High School, who will get an up-close look at the world's fastest animal before it takes to the sky. Peregrines have been measured in a dive to reach speeds of 273 miles an hour.
Nicknamed "Narisah" the adult bird was found by a couple driving near Garfield, Wash. "I saw the falcon standing oddly by the side of the road," said the anonymous rescuer. "When I stopped, she walked over to me and jumped up on my leg when I crouched down for a closer look."
The couple then contacted the Raptor Rehabilitation Service at WSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
"When she was admitted to the hospital, she was very vocal," said Nickol Finch, who heads up the service. "She was also very weak, dehydrated, and malnourished, and her beak was broken."
After a complete physical examination, a beak trim and antibiotics, the rehabilitation also included plenty of good food, rest, and supportive care. "She's doing great," said Finch. "Her prognosis for survival looks really, really good."
Veterinarians at WSU treat hundreds of sick or injured wild animals every year. The majority of the support for this program comes from private donations to the college. The college recently developed an "Adopt a Raptor Program" to help provide medical care to sick or injured birds of prey. For more information, log on to the College of Veterinary Medicine Web site at: www.vetmed.wsu.edu/outreach/raptors/sponsor-a-raptor and click on "Sponsor Form."
Released January 2006