Two peregrine falcons, a mother and daughter, were found shot in Oakland, Calif. at the beginning of the month.
The raptors, who had made a home at the Fruitvale Avenue drawbridge, were both hit in the wings with shotgun pellets and are recovering at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“This is a complete shock to me,” said Glenn Stewart, a biologist with the Predatory Bird Research Group at UC Santa Cruz, which monitors the falcon population in California. “We brought these birds back from near extinction. It’s hard not to take this personally, to feel like they’re family.”
The mother, named Haya, was found near Laguna Avenue and Alida Street on June 1, while her two-month-old daughter, Marina, was found near Tiffin Road and Whittle Avenue on June 10. Another daughter, Fern, is missing. The father, however, is reportedly fine.
The two have had surgery and are now eating, however rehabilitators are concerned about the damage to their wings and ability to fly and hunt.
“‘They are in stable condition following orthopedic surgery,’ said Anneke Moresco, director of veterinary services at the wildlife center. The falcons are eating she said, which is a good sign, but it’s always a concern when falcons’ wings have been fractured. For peregrines, Moresco said strong wings are especially critical, because they hunt in the air” reports the San Jose Mercury News.
There are only an estimated 250 pairs in California. Shooting peregrine falcons, who are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, is a federal crime.
Fish and Game officials are offering a $1,000 reward collected by Stewart from falcon lovers for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information can call an anonymous tip line at 888-334-2258.
Photo Credit: Arabani