Back in the wild: Peregrine falcon hurt in shoot released back into woods near Preston

Posted on - 24th February, 2013 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston News, Wildlife and Conservation
Making its recovery: The bird of prey was nursed back to health

Making its recovery: The bird of prey was nursed back to health

A local falconer has worked with police to nurse a bird of prey found in a field near Salwick.


Ray Balch took in the peregrine falcon after it was found with injuries to its wings during a local shoot on the outskirts of Preston in January.

It had been injured by shot pellets which had broken its wing.

This week after a health check from a vet the bird was released back into the wild.

Falconer Ray Balch, who helped nurse the bird, said: “I had to register the bird with Defra to ensure it was legal to have the bird as it is a protected species and, with the help and advice of the police and Andy, I have helped this falcon have a fighting chance of release and survival.

“It was great to release the bird back out in the wild and it was a real sense of achievement for all my hard work.

“It has been great to work alongside the Force wildlife crime officer Mark Thomas and also Andy Bilsborough from Turbary Woods to help with advice and guidance on the recuperation of the Falcon.”

Wildlife crime officer Mark Thomas said professional shooters should be careful when out on hunts.

He said: “Mr Balch and Turbary Woods have done a great job to put this Falcon back into the wild. It was good to be able to see the bird fit and well and back out where it belongs.

“Professional shooters should know the difference between a Peregrine Falcon and a duck or any other game birds.

“We have investigated the incident and will continue to monitor shooting activities that take place within the local area in the future.”

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