PATIENT: Peregrine Falcon, #11-1278
LOCATION OF RESCUE: Norfolk, VA
CONDITION: Stunted development
ADMISSION DATE: June 11, 2012
When the biologists had the chicks in hand, they quickly realized that one of the chicks looked much different than the others – though all should be around 35 days of age. The third chick weighed in at half the size of its siblings, and is much further behind the others in feather growth and development. Because Peregrine Falcon chicks hatch synchronously – around the same time – it is highly unlikely that this chick is significantly younger than its well-developed siblings.
The two larger chicks were removed for hacking, and the stunted chick was sent to the Wildlife Center for further examination. One concern the CCB raised was that eggs from this Norfolk nest in years past have shown significant traces of pesticides – though if the chicks were affected, likely all three would be showing developmental problems.
When the young peregrine falcon chick was admitted to the Wildlife Center on June 11, the veterinary staff examined the bird and found it to be in reasonably good health – despite the developmental delay. The bird’s blood work showed only mild anemia and a mild inflammatory response. Additional blood work will be taken in two weeks.
The staff will continue to monitor the chick closely over the coming weeks, though they are equally confused about why the chick is so much smaller and younger in appearance compared to its month-old siblings. The bird remains bright and alert. The rehab staff are offering the falcon several plates of chopped quail each day.