Peregrine falcon chicks rescued from hot warehouse

SAVED: The distressed and dehydrated peregrine falcon chicks soon after their rescue, and (inset) a day later looking much better. Photos: supplied
SAVED: The distressed and dehydrated peregrine falcon chicks soon after their rescue, and (inset) a day later looking much better. Photos: supplied

If you think the weather’s been uncomfortable lately, spare a thought for these tiny peregrine falcon chicks.

They were sweltering in their nest in a warehouse in Moss Vale this week, when the heat forced them out prematurely and they plunged eight metres to the floor.

Fortunately, they were delivered to the Southern Highland Veterinary Centre and found to have sustained no injuries.

Now in the care of Peggy McDonald in her Fitzroy Falls raptor sanctuary, the little chicks are doing well.

“At this time of year, a lot of young chicks are either in the nest or getting ready to fledge, but the heat is playing havoc with them and forcing them out early,” said Peggy.

“Little birds are just focused on survival and they realise they’ll die if they stay there. Places such as where these two were – in a warehouse, up in the eaves, between metal roofing – they just know they can’t stay there.”

Since Monday, Peggy has been rehydrating them, feeding them food that’s easy for them to digest and giving them electrolytes. 

She said that fledglings on the ground should always be assessed by a trained wildlife carer.

“It’s generally preferable to get birds back with their parents,” said Peggy.

“But it’s always a good idea to get a trained wildlife carer to look at them and make sure they’re okay. They have to be in good enough condition to be put back.”

The peregrine falcon chicks will be at Peggy’s sanctuary for about three months, growing and developing their fitness before they go back in the wild.

They are among 11 raptor chicks for which she is caring at the moment due to the time of year and the weather.

In total, she has between 20-30 birds of prey (she’s lost count due to the number brought in recently) in her 13 aviaries, and is struggling for room.

Peggy has been caring for injured raptors in the Southern Highlands for many years. See Australian Raptor Care and Conservation Inc and Higher Ground rehabilitation facility on Facebook or email pegmcdonald@bigpond.com to find out more or donate.