Mar 15 2009
At the end of February I got a call from Wildlife Conservation Officer Beth Fife that a young peregrine was found critically injured in Connellsville. Sadly, she had to be euthanized.
Her bands indicated she was born in New York so the Game Commission reported her to NY Department of Environmental Conservation who emailed back that she was born in Syracuse last spring.
George Marleau, who monitors the Syracuse peregrines, sent us news of her early life. She was named Matilda for Matilda Joslyn Gates, a women’s rights advocate from Fayetteville, a suburb of Syracuse. He also enclosed two photos, one of which is shown here.
“I received the sad news from Barbara Loucks this morning that Matilda has been euthanized. She was found Thursday, Feb. 26 in Connellsville, PA. Her left ulna was broken in 3 places and she was blind in the left eye and had minimal sight in the right. Given the extent of her injuries, she was put to sleep. DEC is still trying to learn how she came to be injured. The band number on her legs confirmed her identity. She still had the blue electrical tape covering the USFWS band on her right leg which had to be removed to read the number on it. While it is sad to hear of her departure under these circumstances, it is encouraging to note that she had made it as far as she did. Her two brothers, Sirako and Maestro, and her sister Jean are still out there somewhere. Hopefully we’ll hear better news about them someday.
“Attached is a photo that Jeff Gilka took of Matilda taking food from her mother, Fancy. The photo was taken in front of City Hall on July 8, 2008. The second photo was taken at the nest box on June 20, 2008 when we returned Jean to the box after rescuing her from the State Tower Building. Matilda was there at the box waiting her turn to fledge.
“As far as I know, we still have two Syracuse Peregrine Falcons from the 2005 group, Juliet and Thunder, who may be in the Toronto, Canada area, and Cade, from the 2006 group is still in Cleveland. The only previous confirmed loss was Sojourner from the 2005 four.”
While it’s sad that Matilda died, I’m encouraged to learn how far she travelled and to meet the people who care about her. I am impressed that she came here from Syracuse. Thank you, George, for telling us Matilda’s story.
(photo of Matilda and her mother Fancy, by Jeff Gilka)