Butler County (KDKA) — The blue sky above Moraine State Park is the backdrop for an environmental restoration and wildlife renewal story that is going on for two years.
After a long trip from Ohio to Pittsburgh, Peregrine Nike flew freely in the open sky on Monday.
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Nike hatched near Guangzhou in 2019 as a fledgling chick with head and spine injuries. The young bird of prey has never learned the hunting skills essential to survival.
“Because they dive from anywhere from 300 feet to 3,000 feet in the air looking for prey, you really can’t do this in any flying structure,” said Carol Holglen, executive director of the Tamarack Wildlife Center.
This is why this young bird was sent to the Tamarack Wildlife Center in Segtown. The center has a flying space, a falconer and a wild rehabilitation center. After she recovered, Master Eagle Trainer began to teach Nike real-world hunting skills.
“I also hope that people will be inspired by Nike’s return. It takes a lot of cooperation to get her back to the sky,” Holm Glenn said.
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Due to the influence of DDT, the Peregrine Falcon was eliminated in the 1960s. Due to the reintroduction of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, these birds hatched again.
Pittsburgh people like to watch them from the heights of the study cathedral and other skyscrapers.
“Working with her to get to know her and build this trusting relationship is a real honor. It’s time for her to be free,” Holm Glenn said.
Peregrine falcons are still under threat, which is why the mission of the Tamarak Wildlife Center to help Nike is as important as her own mission.
“She was supposed to be in the sky, she was supposed to be one of the birds that helped our state’s peregrine falcon reproduce,” Holgren said.
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The Tamarack Wildlife Center is the only licensed wildlife rehabilitation center in northwestern Pennsylvania. The center receives 1,000 birds and animals every year.
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