July 6, 2011
By: Gina Browning, SPCA Director of Public Relations, 716-629-3505


UPDATE, JULY 6: The falcon who landed in a garbage can while fledging from her south Grand Island Bridge nest earlier this month is in excellent condition.

Another exam was performed late last week, and new X-rays show “…spectacular results,” according to Jones. “The falcon seems to be healing extremely well. On Monday, she’ll be relocated to Bless the Beasts Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Medina, NY, where [owner] Wendy Pencille has the correct flight cages for exercise. If all goes well and the fledgling can eventually fly and hunt on her own, the DEC will determine where and when she can be released…probably near the bridge where her nest is located.”

Keep watching YourSPCA.org for updates on this falcon.


Thanks to an alert passer-by, a female peregrine falcon fledgling should eventually be able to take wing once again.

On June 17, 2011, a person walking near the south Grand Island bridge heard rustling in a garbage can located close by. The rustling turned out to be the sounds of a peregrine falcon fledgling, approximately 45 days old, who had fallen in. She was most likely in the process of leaving her nest, located within the bridge’s construction, and didn’t get too far on this outing, possibly her first.

The SPCA was contacted for emergency rescue, and within the hour the fledging was being examined by Dr. Karen Moran in the SPCA’s infirmary. Veterinary exams showed no malnourishment or dehydration, so Moran suspects the falcon wasn’t confined for a long period of time.

Unfortunately for the bird, X-rays didn’t come back so positive (see photo, lower right). They show a fractured clavicle (sometimes called the “wishbone”), inhibiting the bird’s ability to fly. She is currently on pain medication and cage rest.

SPCA Wildlife Department Assistant Director Beverly Jones had this to say when asked about the bird’s prognosis: “If you were asking me about a red-tailed hawk in this condition, I’d feel very confident that the bird would eventually be releasable. However, this is a more guarded situation. Peregrine falcons are different from hawks; they are stealth flyers and require excellent maneuverability to hunt their prey in the sky [as opposed to a hawk capturing prey on the ground]. Because they capture prey in the air, they need to be stealth for survival.

“This fledgling will be X-rayed again soon. If the fracture looks like it’s improving, we’ll move her to a location with a flight enclosure for limited exercise for one week. After that, she’ll be reevaluated once again to see whether or not she can remain in a larger flight enclosure, fly without issue, and feed herself.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reported that the two other fledglings from the same nest, also banded by the DEC, are doing well, have already fledged, and are “hanging around” by the bridge.

If you have a wildlife question or concern, or if you see a wild animal in need of rescue, please contact the SPCA Wildlife Department: 716-629-3528. If emergency rescue is required after normal business hours, you can reach the SPCA at 716-556-0076.



Those who witness a situation that might constitute
cruelty and/or violence toward animals in Erie County,
including animals left outdoors with inappropriate
shelter in yards, are encouraged to report the
circumstances to the SPCA Serving Erie County:
716-875-7360 or cruelty@yourspca.org.