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'Falconed' bird on the mend

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital head vet Michael Pyne with Bundy the recovering Perigan Falcon.
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital head vet Michael Pyne with Bundy the recovering Perigan Falcon. Blainey Woodham

PEREGRINE falcons can attack prey at speeds of up to 400km/h.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital patient Bundy did, but flew into an immovable object instead of catching himself a meal.

After 10 weeks' care senior veterinarian Michael Pyne said another two months of rehabilitation awaited the feathered fellow before release where he came from at Piggabeen.

"When he first came in, he couldn't stand," Dr Pyne said.

"Now he's 100%, but very unfit."

Bundy's fitness regime first requires a build up of trust for his carer before he strengthens his flight-power by chasing a piece of meat whirled around on a three metre rope.

Dr Pyne said there was no cage or aviary big enough to train Bundy within.

"He'll chase the meat just like he would a live bird, but we just have to hope he won't catch it.

"After about 10 passes, when he's exhausted, we'll let him get it.

"He was found on the ground and the assumption is, because he can fly at such incredible speeds, he was chasing something and misjudged his speed.

"It's something we see from time-to-time and we probably have 15 or 20 peregrines through the hospital in a year."

The falcons are birds that "love city living", Dry Pyne said.

This has its pitfalls for them when considering traffic, development and pollution.

"They usually roost on cliff faces so high-rises are perfect for them, and they love eating pigeons," Dr Pyne said.

"He'll go back to Piggabeen, where he came from - we get quite a number of animals from the Tweed."

Topics:  falcons



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