Sparky- Peregrine Falcon
Professor Slinky- American Kestrel
Sparky is a Peregrine falcon just entering his second year. This male Peregrine Falcon, or Tiercel, suffered an injury to his wing, most probably during migration south. He was found, and treated in Alabama.
Sparky was transferred to the Avian Reconditioning Center from a respected rehab center for evaluation for release. Even though the bones of his wing had healed, his caretakers were unsure if he was strong enough to survive in the wild, and it was decided that falconry traning, and a bit of hunting experience, would determine of the bird was healthy enough to release. Glove training began, and Sparky learned quickly, being a very personable bird, and eager to learn. Unfortunately, he was never able to begin the hunting portion of falconry training.
Even though he was brought to a rehabilitation center, treated quickly, and his bones set by a skilled veterinarian, Sparky will never be released. Because of damage to not only the bones of his wing, but the nerves as well, he is unable to grow new primarys, or flight feathers, on his right wing. After his first molt, he did not grow in new primaries. Without the crucial flight feathers on one side of his body, he is unable to fly very far, or very well, and would never be strong enough to hunt and be sucessful in the wild.
Sparky now enjoys meeting the public on Saturdays, along with his other falcon roomates at the Avian Reconditioning Center. Although he is unable to fly, he is a beautiful example of a male Peregrine Falcon, and has taught many people about the importance of raptors.
Cora- Peregrine Falcon
Falcor- American Kestrel
Falcor is a young male American Kestrel. He came to ARC as a young bird with a severe wing injury. Although we did what we could for him, birds wings heal very fast, and it's hard to correct an existing injury, and unfortunately he us unable to fly. So now he lives with us as an Education Ambassador!
Unlike our female kestrel, Callie, male kestrels have blue patches on their wings. They make a beautiful pair, and it's fun to see the differences between males and females. He enjoys taking a bath on warm days, and the occasional mealworm snack!
Peregrine falcons are a majestic bird, making a comeback in Florida, after years of absence. They are also a beautiful bird, and Cora is no exception. She has beautiful coloring, and is an excellent example of the falcon, with long pointed wings for speed, and a notched beak for snaring prey.
In the fall and winter months, Cora often free flies at the Center, flying to a lure attached to a kite or balloon. The kite and balloon are used to train falcons to fly high into the air to catch their prey. This is a technique used at ARC to build strength in rehab falcons, as they quickly get stronger when climbing hundreds of feet each day!
Professor Slinky was found on he ground after falling out of his nest. He sustained an injury to his Central Nervous System (CSN) which caused him to have a "head tilt". Although this looks cute it is a real issue.
After months of treatments on supplements, Professor is now able to hold his head up properly.
Kestrels are beneficial to us because they eat those bugs we consider pests.