After weeks of intensive effort put in by trainer Erin Stone, with our Peregrine Falcon Clarkie, decided he was ready to be released last Wednesday. Originally we wanted to release Clarkie in January but with it being a very windy day on Xmas Eve, the falcon decided it was time to go.
Clarkie had been flying at different ovals around Mosman. The main thing Erin was working on was getting him back into shape. Being a falcon he eats other birds and has to be incredibly fast and agile to do so. Erin was working Clarkie through a fitness program tailored specifically for him. At first, it was straight flights but he needs to turn and turn fast. In the weeks leading up to his release this is what Clarkie was doing, flying high, using the winds and diving heaps. He was very impressive and making both us and the vets very happy with his progress.
After Clarkie flew off on Wednesday we saw him loop around Mosman for a while. We did try to call Clarkie back to us as it was still a little early … but competent is competent and that he was. The last signal we had of Clarkie was far out in western Sydney. We put out a Falcon Alert on Radio 2GB and we did get many calls from the public letting us know they saw what might have been him and this is always a big help. These calls give us some idea that he is doing fine. We had a lot of fun training Clarkie and Erin will miss him. She did a fantastic job.
Watching him fly away after building up all those skills was a little scary, but honestly, really rewarding. I can’t wait until we get the chance to rehabilitate another bird. With so many hazards in the wild for birds today it is unfortunate that we will probably have to go through the process again.
We all have to do our bit to take care of the bush where birds like Clarkie live, along with other animals, and making sure pets don’t chase wildlife helps make the wild a much safer place for Clarkie.