Manitoba

Injured Peregrine falcon rescued from Winnipeg parking lot

A Peregrine falcon that took refuge at Winnipeg university, now awaits surgery and rehabilitation.

Peregrine rescue group hoping for a good outcome for injured falcon

Peregrine falcon named 'Bo' was rescued from the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg on Monday. (Paul Friesen)

It was a rough homecoming for a Winnipegger fresh off his migration home from Mexico.

Bo is a peregrine falcon that took refuge at the Canadian Mennonite University on Monday. Paul Friesen, a librarian at the school, came across the bird in a parking lot, injured and unable to fly.

"I've seen them in the air and perched on buildings and that sort of thing but never up close like this. It's a gorgeous bird. It's awe inspiring," Friesen told Ismaila Alfa on CBC's Up to Speed

The falcon suffered from wing fractures and could not fly. (Paul Friesen)

"We tried not to get too close to it," Friesen said. "At one point we wanted to get a better look at it from the front, then it scurried off across the grass a little bit. While we were waiting for [a conservation officer] to come, we decided to put a cardboard box over it to help protect it and and try to calm it down a bit."

The bird stayed in its box for about an hour until someone from Manitoba Conservation could come and rescue the bird.

Bo's back story

Tracy Maconachie, the coordinator of the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project, was contacted by Friesen after he found the injured bird.

"It's not the first call I've had about a downed bird over the years," she said. "The first thing is: lets make sure it's a peregrine. And he was very specific, as soon as he said there are bands on his legs and the size of a crow, that's a pretty good indication that it is a peregrine."

Then she says, the next step is to see who the bird is and if it's injured.

The tag on Bo's leg makes it easy for Maconachie to know more about him. For starters, he was born in captivity but released into the wild in Manitoba back in 2007.

Maconachie explained that Bo was the west Winnipeg resident male and he had been since 2010.

"Now we knew he wasn't going to be the resident male this year, he had been supplanted already by a young male that's been hanging out in Selkirk for the last couple of years," she said.

One can speculate that this was the culprit that injured Bo in the first place.

"He's a really cool, laid back kind of bird, takes everything in stride, knows how to provide for his family," said Maconachie. "We're hoping the prognosis is good, but it's always a little dicey with birds." 

Maconachie says Bo has some small fractures in his wing, which aren't too serious — but also has some lacerations on his breast which will require surgery and rehabilitation.

"He'll be assessed to see whether or not he's capable of living on his own in the wild safely," she said. "If not, we'll find a placement for him if need be in a captive facility."

Maconachie isn't alone in hoping for a good outcome.

"One doesn't like to see a bird that's been injured. Hopefully it will survive and live to catch lots of pigeons in Winnipeg," said Friesen.

Hopefully Winnipeggers will be seeing Bo again soon when the Falcon Cams come on in mid-May.  

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