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Falcon fledgling in rehab for broken shoulder

A peregrine falcon fledgling is being treated at the SPCA Serving Erie County after breaking its shoulder last week in downtown Buffalo, the SPCA reported.

"It's a broken coracoid," said Barb Haney, the wildlife director for the SPCA. "It's in a cage wrap and a wing wrap."

And because Franklin wasn't eating on his own, he is being fed "gourmet mouse" and quail meat by rehabilitators at the SPCA, Haney said.

The bird, which is named "Franklin" and banded by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, was found by a Buffalo Police officer last Wednesday on the street near the corner of Pearl and Swan streets. The officer contacted the SPCA and a rescue agent brought the bird back to the agency's wildlife department for treatment.

X-rays showed Franklin broke part of its shoulder.

"This is an injury that is often cured in raptors with stabilization," according to an SPCA statement. "However, we are unsure how this peregrine will respond, as we've not seen this break in this type of bird. We are hopeful though."

Franklin is under the care of SPCA veterinarian Dr. Karen Moran.

Once his fracture heals, and Franklin has enough strength to start to fly, he'll be allowed to begin physical therapy in a small flight cage at the SPCA's new facility on Harlem Road in West Seneca.

That might happen in a few weeks, at the earliest, Haney said.

Then, Franklin will need to do his final rehabilitation at a large eco-enclosure in Syracuse before there's any chance he's released back to the wild.

"They are the strongest, most agile fliers that we have," Haney said. "We need this bird to be very strong and capable for release."

Scientific studies suggest most of the time raptors with similar injuries can be rehabilitated and returned to the wild, officials said.

Haney said there's no indication what happened, but it's not unusual for fledglings to wind up on the ground as they are learning to fly.

Western New York’s fledgling falcons are ready to take flight


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