A peregrine falcon is recovering after what is believed to be a pellet was shot through its body near the Watsonville Airport on Thursday, a spokeswoman for a wildlife organization said Monday.
The male falcon was found injured in a residential area not far from the airport the evening of Thanksgiving Day and was taken for treatment to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley in San Jose, said Rebecca Dmytryk of the animal aid group WildRescue.
An examination of the bird showed an entry wound in its chest and an exit wound in its back, probably from a pellet gun, Dmytryk said.
The bird is in stable condition and its prognosis looks promising, she said.
"The fact that he is holding his wings tight against his body normally is a good sign," Dmytryk said. "If one wing was drooping at all, that would not be good."
The peregrine falcon, the world's fastest animal at 200 mph in a dive while seeking its prey, was once on the federal list of endangered and threatened species, but was removed in 1999, according to the website of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
--Bay City News Service