(PHOTOS) Peregrine Falcon rescued from rehabilitated Wyoming warehouse, released into the wild

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Gillette, Wyo. – On Monday, a wildlife biologist from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department shared the story of a peregrine falcon who was rescued after being trapped in a warehouse in the fall of 2021, rehabilitated and finally released back into the wild in May 2022.

Gillette Wildlife biologist Erika Peckam was contacted by Komatsu employees who were concerned about a bird that had become trapped in the company’s warehouse, Peckham said in a press release shared by Game and Fish Monday.

“When I answered the call I took a quick look and saw it was a hawk, before retreating outside to make a plan,” Peckham wrote. . “Komatsu employees had kept the large garage doors open as long as they could, but due to the high ceilings and many shelves, the falcon could not see or find a way out of the building and been trapped for at least a day.”

“Komatsu personnel were concerned about the welfare of the bird and were willing to allow access and cooperate in any way possible to help get the raptor out.”

Peckham said he reached out to her friend Vanessa Bridges whose father John Lindstrom is a licensed falconer in Spearfish, South Dakota.

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“John dropped everything without question and immediately headed to Gillette with a plan in mind,” Peckham said. “When John arrived a few hours later, he identified the bird as a tundra peregrine falcon.”

The tundra peregrine falcon is one of three North American subspecies and breeds in arctic regions of Alaska, Canada and Greenland, Peckham said.

When Lindstrom and Bridges came to help, they brought a live pigeon, a harness and a lanyard.

Vanessa Bridges and her father John Lindstrom operate a pigeon to help attract the peregrine falcon. (Erika Peckam, Wyoming Game and Fish)

“The plan was to harness the pigeon and use it to lure the hawk in,” Peckham said. “After being harnessed, the pigeon did not fly far – just a short distance above the Komatsu employees who were waiting to help if needed. The hawk did not hesitate for a second and flew over everyone at a few meters above us.

“The few people present had the pleasure of seeing how fast and aerodynamic the Pilgrims are, in a closeness that very few people have ever been able to see. The pigeon flew behind a shelf and the pilgrim followed. I was then able to wedge the pilgrim between the shelves and a wall.

The falcon was captured and the pigeon used to bait it was unharmed.

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A physical assessment of the falcon revealed that it was underweight and migration would likely be difficult, Peckham said.

“John and I decided it was best to overwinter the bird with a licensed bird rehabilitator,” she added.

After winter, the falcon was released back into the wild in May 2022.

“A big thank you to John for sharing his time and years of knowledge, to Vanessa for her assistance, and to the Komatsu employees for their care and assistance,” said Peckham. “We also appreciate the important work of the bird rehabilitator who fed and cared for the falcon daily to make him the success he was.”

(Erika Peckam, Wyoming Game and Fish)

CORRECTION: Wyoming Game and Fish provided an incorrect company name. It has been fixed for Komatsu.


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