It didn’t take long for a peregrine falcon to rediscover his wings on Monday, as a young male bird was released into the wild after a two-month rehabilitation stint.
According to a Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife press release, the falcon was released at a site along the Kennebec River, where it immediately took to the air and flew out of sight.
The peregrine falcon was about a year old, according to the DIF&W, and was captured by Warden Kristopher MacCabe — a popular warden often featured on the Animal Planet TV show “North Woods Law” — when it was found hopping along the ground in New Sharon in August.
The falcon was then taken to Avian Haven, a wild bird rehabilitation facility in Freedom. The bird was nursed back to health and released by Avian Haven rehabilitator Marc Payne and DIF&W biologist Erin Call.
According to the press release, falcons are no longer listed as endangered on the federal level. The species is on the state list, however. DIF&W biologists estimate there are 25 pairs of peregrine falcons living in Maine.
According to the Avian Haven website, the facility has treated almost 12,000 birds since its incorporation as a nonprofit organization by Payne and Diane Winn in 1999. The facility’s annual case load has increased from about 300 to more than 1,300 birds over that time.