Some good news!
The Peregrine Falcon found injured in King’s Somborne in March has been released back into the wild.
On the 11th March 2017, Romsey & Villages reported that the bird had been found after it had been shot and wounded.
The falcon was tagged and records showed he had hatched at Salisbury Cathedral in 2014, and known as Peter. He was one of the first chicks to hatch at the cathedral for over 60 years.
He was taken to the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover where he was examined by a vet who confirmed that the bird had a fractured wing, caused by shooting. He remained at the Trust’s bird of prey hospital for several weeks where he was given food, exercise and helped back to full fitness.
Peregrine falcons are the fastest birds in the world, able to reach speeds of over 200mph when diving for prey. Like all birds of prey, they are protected by law making it a criminal offence to kill or harm them. There are thought to be around 1,500 pairs in the UK – many of which now live in urban areas where tall buildings like cathedrals make ideal vantage points and nesting sites.
Jenny Shelton, RSPB, says: “We are glad to report that, after some R&R at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, Peter has made a full recovery and is ready to be released back into the wild.
“Peregrine falcons are incredible thunderbolts of evolution and most of us are privileged when one chooses to live amongst us. But sadly there are people who will shoot or poison birds of prey. We don’t know who shot Peter, but urge anyone with information to come forward.
“Sadly, this story is part of a much larger problem UK-wide regarding the illegal killing of birds of prey which is putting some species at risk of extinction. Peregrines have been driven to colonise urban areas in some areas of the UK because they are being persecuted in their natural habitats. It is worrying to hear of birds now being targeted in urban areas, we only hope that Peter isn’t targeted again once he is released.”
The RSPB is offering a reward of £1,000 for information relating to this case which leads to a conviction. If you have any information relating to this case, call Hampshire police on 101.
If you find a wild bird which you suspect has been illegally killed, contact RSPB investigations on 01767 680551 or fill in the online form