Apr 112012

Story of a Peregrine Falcon

This a story of a peregrine falcon named Jett.  Last year Liz (with the assistance of Master Falconer Marten Benatar) conditioned and rehabilitated a Peregrine Falcon (that was shot in the wing) using falconry techniques for release back to the wild. This peregrine came from Dr. Vickie Joseph of The California Foundation For Birds Of Prey. CFBP is one of the few raptor rehabilitation organizations that uses licensed falconers to re-condition birds of prey with falconry techniques to release back to the wild. It has proven to be a very successful program.

Liz named the Peregrine “Jett”!  She was a lovely bird and stayed with Liz for a year before she could be released.  Her feather damage was so severe that Liz kept her through her molt and started her on a free flight program using a helium balloon in October 2011. Jett excelled in her conditioning and we had the opportunity to see many magnificent flights as she regained her flying stamina and agility.  It was an honor to be allowed by such a magnificent bird to be part of her paradigm during this process.  How could anyone not become attached to an bird like Jett?  The day arrived for Jett’s release… January 1st 2012. Liz took her out to the Sutter Buttes sink in Northern California to a special area that we knew was an excellent habitat for her re-introduction to the wild.

In a bittersweet moment, Liz stepped Jett up on her glove and un-hooded her to feed Jett her final meal of quail before release.  As Jett was eating, Liz cut off her anklets and jesses.  When Jett finished eating she then noticed she was free to leave.  She looked at Liz and began to serenade her in a way that I have never heard before.  Jett knew she was free and it appeared as though she wanted to take her last moment before she flew away to thank Liz for helping her.  We both choked up had tears in our eyes.  That was a beautiful moment in time.  When she was ready, she took flight. We new she would be just fine and that we would never see her again.  Good Bye Jett.  We will miss you.


  5 Responses to “A Peregrine’s Story.”

  1. I do miss her. She allowed herself to trust me just enough…not too much…to help her. It is an amazing thing to have a wild creature trust me, and I am honored and changed by the experience. She never lost her fear totally…so for her to stay on my glove, chupping and chattering in a way that I’d never heard for several minutes was extraordinary and very personal. I was deeply touched by her communications and will never forget it. Thank you, Jett, for allowing me to be a part of your life. Not too many Peregrines have a story to tell like you do….

  2. Thank you Liz, for your story of Jett which unfolds the story of your commitment to the wild nature in all of us. Thank you for all the work you do in rehabilitating birds to rehabilitating our core relationship to the natural world. Best of luck in your new venture, may it flourish and fly high like the birds you have released. I am supportive of all that you do and believe in.

    Jody Snyder
    Earth Matters
    Ben Lomond, CA

  3. reconnecting to nature may offer the solution to today’s’ problems and malaise

  4. Nicely done Liz. It is good to see you in your passion!

  5. What a beautiful story. It’s amazing when a wild animal trust you enough to know that you are there to help them. Your story of Jett was very touching that I had tears in my eyes. Keep up the amazing work and keep loving the birds.

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