Peregrine Falcon Shot in Watsonville Dies

The bird was euthanized Thursday; it was likely shot with a pellet gun on Thanksgiving Day near the Watsonville Airport.

A peregine falcon shot on Thanksgiving Day in Watsonville was euthanized Thursday, authorities said.

The bird was likely shot by a pellet gun, suffering two fractures in its shoulder, according to wildlife advocates.

Its injuries were too severe for it to recover, according to Rebecca Dmytryk, of the animal aid group WildRescue.

The wounded bird was found in a residential area not far from the Watsonville Airport that evening, according to Dmytryk.

The bird of prey was taken for treatment to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley in San Jose, Dmytryk said.

A week later, the organization decided to euthanize the bird; it had suffered an entry wound in its chest and an exit wound in its back, probably from a pellet gun, Dmytryk said.

The state Department of Fish and Game is leading an investigation into the bird shooting, according to Dmytryk.

WildRescue has been able to offer a $1,000 reward for information about the shooting of the falcon. The peregrine falcon 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 contributed to this report

Steve Bankhead December 02, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I live near Watsonville Slough at the northern end of Rodriguez Street, and a pergrine falcon regularly visits my back yard. When he comes while I'm stocking my bird feeder and smaller birds are gathered I wave him off. He obliges. Afterwards, I sometimes discover a patch of pigeon feathers, and figure he grabbed a larger feast. No foul...or no fowl. Just the circle of life. I'm happy to report that he visited this afternoon...rushed at some of the finches and starlings till I waved him off, so he wasn't the victim falcon. To whoever shot the other falcon...words fail me. And they don't often.
Anne Marie DeSoto December 02, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Thank God your little guy is safe and sound, and that he knows where he can go for a safe little snack!! Cheers!!
jessica hernandez December 02, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Oh no! I loved that bird! It used to hang out outside my house on the fence. I even took a picture of it!
maya leon December 02, 2012 at 06:23 PM
i saw that bird when i drove by the airport last week! i am so sad it died! but there are more out there? i hope .it is such beautiful,unusual looking. god bless those who care,,and please catch the moron who shot it!!
Gen Grevious December 03, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I guess the Norteños got tired of using dogs and little kids for target practice.
Dale Swanson December 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM
This is so sad and disgusting that this happens, and the sick people that do this, future animal cruelty citizens or worse and they move on to people, This is such crap that when they catch the the people doing these acts, that they walk away with a slap on the hand courtesy of the city government district attorney, IF you don't make an example, it WILL happen again...
Tony Rubio December 03, 2012 at 07:24 PM
I think I may have seen a Peregine falcon near Struve slough (the Loma Vista side) last Saturday. What a beautiful bird...and what an ugly person who shot one.
Dog Sitter5000 December 03, 2012 at 10:12 PM
The local gangs are using dog to practice their 'wet' work so I'm not surprised that they would kill a little bird.


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