Friday, June 21, 2024

Pickles the peregrine falcon brought to rehabilitation center for injuries

July 7, 2023
The falcon next box rests atop Spartan Stadium. Installed on January 28, 2022, to provide a pair of local peregrine falcons a nesting ground.
The falcon next box rests atop Spartan Stadium. Installed on January 28, 2022, to provide a pair of local peregrine falcons a nesting ground.

Pickles, one of the peregrine falcons that lived in the nest atop Spartan Stadium, was recently involved in an accident.

Due to the nature of his injuries, he will not be released back into the wild.

Currently in the care of Wildside Rehabilitation and Education Center, Pickles underwent surgery Monday night on a fractured humerus near the joint.

“The fix is as well as we can get it,” Wildside Rehabilitation and Education Center director Louise Sagaert said. “It's not going to be perfect, hence he will fly some, but not fly well enough to be released.”

The team is unclear as to how Pickles sustained his injuries. He was brought to them from USDA Wildlife Services, who called and said that a falcon had gone down.

“I'm assuming he either hit a line like a wire or he was hit by a car,” Sagaert said. “They found him on the ground near the stadium.”

Although Pickles will not be released back into the wild, he will serve as an ambassador for his species. He’ll be transported to a nature center that would like him, most likely somewhere in the Michigan area.

“It'll take four weeks for the pins to be in his wing,” Sagaert said. “Then, we'll remove the pins and it'll probably take another month after that for a total recovery. So, recovery will take a couple of months.”

At the nature center that he is transported to, Pickles will live in a large flight cage. He’ll be manned, which involves tethers around his legs. They’ll be very similar to the bands that the rest of the falcons in the wild have.

“He'll actually sit on somebody's glove and be presented during programs,” Sagaert said. “He'll have a lot of interaction with the public. They’ll have a display area so people will be able to see him and interact with him.”

Pickles will be trained to not be spooked around a lot of people. He’ll be taught not to bash against the cage or fly around the cage when people are near.

“That will happen way before he's ever put on display," Sagaert said.

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