Injured fal­con re­turns to wild

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

Pil­bara res­i­dents are be­ing en­cour­aged to keep an eye out for grey fal­cons and re­port any sight­ings to the De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife.

There are thought to be about 1000 birds left in the wild Aus­tralia-wide.

The fal­cons are a light grey colour with dis­tinct yel­low mark­ings on their face and legs.

De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife Pil­bara wildlife of­fi­cer Chris Roy said to re­port any sight­ings of grey fal­cons so they be can mea­sured, as­sessed and tracked.

“We’re al­ways look­ing for them — we take any sight­ings if we can get them,” he said.

The grey fal­con is one of the coun­try’s rarest birds of prey and lit­tle is known about their lives.

Mr Roy was called to a vet­eri­nary cen­tre in South Hed­land this month af­ter a fe­male grey fal­con was taken there af­ter be­ing stuck by a ve­hi­cle.

The bird was sent to Pil­bara Wildlife Car­ers As­so­ci­a­tion to re­cover.

“(She was) mainly just stunned by be­ing lightly struck by the ve­hi­cle,” Mr Roy said. “They got her feed­ing and drink­ing and got her back to the wild pretty quick.”

Mr Roy also alerted Jonny Schoen­jahn, who is do­ing an Aus­tralia-wide study on grey fal­cons.

Mr Schoen­jahn mea­sured the bird and at­tached a GPS trans­mit­ter be­fore re­leas­ing it back into the wild.

“She hung around in the area out­side Port Hed­land near the air­port, then two days later headed 40km south,” Mr Roy said.

Grey fal­cons are thought to be endangered be­cause of habi­tat degra­da­tion and at­tacks from wild dogs, foxes and cats. Mr Roy said grey fal­cons roosted on the ground, mak­ing them an easy tar­get for preda­tors.

Those who spot a grey fal­con should con­tact DPaW with ob­ser­va­tion de­tails and a photo, if pos­si­ble.

Pic­ture: DPaW

This fe­male grey fal­con was taken to Pil­bara Wildlife Car­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and brought back to health.

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