An injured falcon/kārearea found near Wanaka has had the wind put back in her wings after a successful rehabilitation at the Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown.
The falcon was found by local builder Brent Arthur while working at the Dublin Downs property between Wanaka and Hāwea. It spent 3 weeks recuperating after being discovered with an injured wing.
DOC Community Ranger Kerie Uren said it was fantastic to be able to have the falcon return to the Central Otago skies. "Normally when a falcon presents with broken or injured wing it is catastrophic for the bird – often they simply can't be fixed and rehabilitated due to the difficult nature of such an injury," Kerie said.
"Falcons belong in the skies – a falcon who can't fly is not a happy bird."
DOC ranger Flo Gaud and Sophie Olsson-Pons from Park Kiwi Birdlife Park prepare falcon for transport to Wanaka
Brent Arthur prepares to release falcon
"Luckily the extent of the injuries were such team at Kiwi Birdlife Park were able to fix her up, give her some R and R before being able to send her on her way."
The falcon was taken back to the original site she was found, and Brent was offered the opportunity to then released her back into the wild. Her mate was seen flying and calling at the site while the injured bird was in Queenstown.
"It's fantastic we have such a proactive and caring community in the Central Otago region," Kerie said.
"If it weren't for this person coming across this falcon and contacting us as soon as possible, it would be a very different story."
"In the skies, New Zealand falcons are an apex predator. Grounded and injured it's entirely possible she would have become prey. With falcon numbers across New Zealand threatened, we need to do as much as we can to ensure their safety."
New Zealand falcon are the only falcon endemic to this country and are a top predator. They can reach speeds of up to 100km/h and hunt a range of large prey such as mammals and lizards, however as they nest on the ground they are susceptible to predation by cats, stoats and other mustelids.