Rehabilitated Peregrine Falcon Released Back Into Wild In Buckeye

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 4:43pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 10:32am
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(Photo courtesy Amy Burnett - Arizona Game and Fish Department)
The rescued peregrine falcon gets ready to take off.
(Photo courtesy Amy Burnett - Arizona Game and Fish Department)
The falcon chases after a bird in the field.
(Photo courtesy Amy Burnett - Arizona Game and Fish Department)
The falcon when it first fell from the building.

In Buckeye on Tuesday, a young peregrine falcon was released back into the wild after months of rehab. 

Chasing a large flock of pigeons over a field in the West Valley, the peregrine falcon looked 100-percent healthy after being released by her handler. The falcon was found in downtown Phoenix with a broken wing after falling from a nesting on top of the Maricopa County Administration Building last summer.

Game and Fish spokesperson Amy Burnett said the peregrine falcon nest downtown should help boost populations of the bird in the area.

"Hopefully this year, cross fingers, we’ll have some more eggs, and they’ll hatch and they’ll be flying free downtown once again,” Burnett said.

The falcon was rehabbed for the past few months by a master falconer in Buckeye to learn how to hunt on the wing. Arizona Department of Game and Fish falconer Jerry Ostwinkle said the dairy farm where she was released is the perfect environment for a young falcon.

"This peregrine’s got a very good chance of building its techniques better than we’ve taught it, and this is its best hope for a release," Ostwinkle said. "You’ve got water, food, everything you need.”

Peregrines are considered the fastest animal on earth, being able to reach up to 200 mph when they dive to catch prey. The peregrine falcon was taken off the endangered species list in 1999. 

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