Peregrine falcon set free along Kennebec

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.

A young male peregrine falcon was released into the wild along the Kennebec River on Monday. (Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife)

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.



John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.