Our Birds: Chinook

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chinook

A.K.A.: Louise (by her friends in the west!)

Species: Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Sex: Female

Hatched: 2012

Arrived: 2013

Condition: Injured wing

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Her Story

Chinook began her life as K91 - a baby falcon in a nest on a University of Calgary building. Like many newborn Peregines, she was closely watched by researchers and volunteers (her first few months of life were chronicled on the University of Calgary website). Peregrine Falcons are a threatened species, and nest-monitoring helps to assist young birds and provide biologists with valuable information.

Chinook fledged from her nest successfully, but crashed into the ground or a building in one of her early flights. She injured her wing, and was taken to a rehabilitator for recovery. While she initially showed promise, she was not able to regain the strength and coordination in her injured wing, and she was deemed non-releasable.

In early 2013, Chinook - like the wind she is named after - flew to us from the west, and became an immediate star. Her gorgeous face and quirky demeanour have made her popular with her handlers and audiences alike, and her story makes her the perfect ambassador for this threatened species.

Species Information: Peregrine Falcon

Range: Global - every continent except Antarctica. Scattered in Ontario - mostly near cliffs and in big cities.

Habitat: Likes open spaces with tall cliffs. Will also live in urban environments on tall buildings.

Diet: Almost exclusively other birds, from sparrows to gulls and geese, which it catches on the wing.

Fun Fact: The Peregrine is the fastest animal in the world, diving at speeds in excess of 350kph!

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