Residents, Officer Rescue Injured Peregrine Falcon


An injured Peregrine falcon, once an endangered species, was rescued Wednesday morning from the side of Highway 260.

Realtor Johnie Duggan of Country Living Real Estate noticed the bird near her office.


Payson animal control officer Don Tanner tended to this wounded Peregrine falcon that was found near a local real estate office Wednesday.

"I saw him sitting out front between our building and the street with his wing extended," Duggan said.

Payson Police Animal Control Officer Don Tanner tended to the falcon and put it in a cage.

"It had a large open wound on its back," Tanner said. "It's unknown if it was hit by a car or what happened. It didn't look like a gunshot wound to me."

Tanner contacted a nonprofit organization in the Valley called Wild at Heart, which rescues and rehabilitates birds of prey or raptors. A volunteer picked up the falcon.

Peregrine falcons were once endangered, but Tanner said they were taken off the Endangered Species List in 1999.

Peregrines are the fastest bird recorded and hunt other birds in the sky.

"They can travel up to 200 mph in a dive," Tanner said.

Sam Fox, founder of Wild at Heart said the falcon is doing pretty well, but may have a broken wing.

"It is going to the vet (Thursday) and they will X-ray the wing," Fox said. "I'm not sure what caused the injury. Peregrines can break wings by hitting something when they are hunting because they fly very fast."

Tanner said once the falcon is rehabilitated, it will be returned to and released in the Rim country.

"Our raptors are a necessary part of the environment and need our protection," Duggan said.

Fox said the species is not very common in the area.

Wild at Heart is located near Cave Creek and is funded strictly by public donations.

To make a financial contribution to Wild at Heart or learn more about the organization, call (480) 595-5047.

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