A weak, injured young male peregrine falcon, found crawling out of the woods in February by a member of the USVI community, has been rehabilitating at Coral World Ocean Park on St. Thomas and will continue his recovery at the St. Croix Avian Sanctuary.
In a news release issued Friday, the St. Thomas marine park said staff veterinary technician Erica Palmer gave the injured bird a thorough exam.
“Using its new x-ray machine (see below), Coral World staff were able to determine that the falcon had no internal injuries,” the news release said.
“His wing feathers had been cut,” Palmer noted. “The wings themselves were not injured, he has no bone injuries or soft tissue damage, but without his flight feathers, he can’t fly. For a peregrine, that’s obviously a problem as they are hunters of other birds. He was emaciated because he could not hunt for food.”
The peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest raptor, or bird of prey, and can reach speeds as fast as 200 miles an hour.
After spending almost two months at Coral World, the bird is continuing its rehabilitation with Toni Lance of the St. Croix Avian Sanctuary.
“Thanks to the generosity of the QE IV Ferry Service, we were able to transport this falcon free of charge, to St. Croix where representatives of the sanctuary picked him up at the dock,” the Coral World news release said.
“The falcon will be in the company of one or possibly two female falcons who will teach him things like how to preen himself properly, how to eat properly and how to be a successful falcon,” Palmer said.
It will take anywhere from nine months to a year to regrow his flight feathers. Once he is deemed releasable, he will be set free on St. Croix.