A Tough Year for Peregrine Falcons at Smith Rock
October 22, 2018
A park visitor found an injured female Peregrine Falcon along side the Misery Ridge Trail the morning of October 11 about halfway up the east side. Park hosts caught the bird and the Park Manager arranged for Cheryl Roraback from Think Wild rehabilitation to take her. The Falcon appeared to have a broken wing and some sort of leg injury but was otherwise alert. It’s feared this may be the female Peregrine that has been nesting at the park over the last few years.
A follow up with Cheryl (CJ) Roraback of Think Wild brought this news on October 16:
(image above is stock, not taken of Cheryl and the Peregrine)
”She was unable to stand and with neurologic damage when she came to me last Wednesday. Unfortunately as the days passed she was not able to make any progress, and died on Sunday, October 14. It was a hard loss for me. I so wanted her to recover so she could return to Smith Rock. She was a large healthy female prior to this incident. There were no broken bones but she was in a lot of pain with bruising on her back and right wing. The nerve damage seemed throughout because it affected her head, tail and wing movements, and like I said, she was not able to stand.”
Back in May, an injured male Peregrine Falcon was found at Ranch of the Canyons was being rehabilitated at a local raptor rehab facility. It appears the falcon got in a fight with another raptor. Park management then determined with certainty that the injured falcon is the male from the Smith Rock pair. The female was not able to incubate and raise the chicks on her own so this year’s nest was abandoned.
BUT THEN— The female Peregrine Falcon found a new mate in late June, but not in time for this nesting season. She and her new buddy were hanging out together at Picnic Lunch Wall. With the death of the female, it’s back to square one for nesting, with the male needing to find a new mate.