Tufts Wildlife Clinic Releases Injured Falcon to the Wild

A seven-month ordeal ended on May 1st when a severely wounded peregrine falcon -- an endangered species in Massachusetts -- soared to the sky after being treated for his wounds at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic. Found in Nantucket on October 2nd tangled in electrical wire and with a seriously injured sternum, the bird was soon transferred to the Grafton clinic because of the severity of the wound.

There Dr. Maureen Murray of the Wildlife Clinic used state of the art surgical and wound management techniques to clean and seal the wound, and included bandaging with honey to encourage healing. After three weeks, the vets applied a graft-like material called BioSISt which they felt gave the falcon the best chance for healing with regeneration of normal skin and re-growth of feathers. After a few more months, the wound had healed enough to move the bird to an outdoor flight cage where it remained during the winter. Full feather re-growth occurred just in time for spring and a move to the Clinic's 100-foot flight cage for final flight conditioning.

Amazingly, once the falcon was banded and set free, it wasted no time showing that it had been completely healed as it headed for home. Dr. Murray was understandably enthused by the positive turn of events. "It’s nothing short of a miracle that this bird is flying away today," she said.


Photos and video by Andrew Cunningham; Story by Joe Scarpato