Falcon chick nursed back to health

A young peregrine falcon on the brink of death has been reunited with its family in Lancashire.

The bird of prey was starving and could not fly when it was found in a village near Preston last week.

Staff from Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Chain House Lane, Whitestake, nursed the fledgling back to health and released it back into the wild – where his family waited to welcome him back into the flock.

Peter Grice, wildlife volunteer with Lancashire Constabulary, said: "I monitor the site where it was found and the birds had been ringed on May 26.

"I got a call from Andy Bilsborough at Turbary Woods saying one of the birds had been picked up by a member of the public.

"It looked as if it had flown into something and was concussed."

With the help of wildlife officers Andy was able to find the nest site and the fledgling's parents.

Andy, Turbary Woods centre director, said: "It was nursed back to health and has been successfully released back to the wild in a secret location in Preston.

"It was very important the nest site was located and the bird released in the vicinity, as its parents haven't yet taught the bird how to hunt and feed itself."

Peregrines are the fastest animals in the world and are thought to achieve speeds of around 124mph when plunging from the sky to snatch their prey.

They have the highest degree of legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, yet stolen chicks can fetch 1,000 on the black market.

Turbary Woods has been involved in five peregrine falcon rescues over the last two years. It remains home to a wild peregrine that was not able to be released back into the wild and is flown daily for visitors to the sanctuary.

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