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Peregrine falcon program at Navajo State Park

By Joe Lewandowski
Special to The SUN

Did you know that falcons are nature’s fastest flyers? Did you know that these birds can migrate over 10,000 miles in a year? Explore, experience and learn more about raptors at Navajo State Park, 9 a.m., May 24, at the picnic pavilion.

Experts from St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation will present a special program featuring Dooley, a peregrine falcon that had been injured in the Durango area. Pat Jackson, sanctuary founder and director, will discuss how injured birds are rehabilitated and how they are released back to the wild. Jackson will also talk about the peregrines’ life cycle, history and ecology, migration and nesting habits.

Those who attend the program will be able to get a close look at the bird and take photographs. Flash photography, however, is not allowed.

St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation, based in Arboles, is a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation center whose primary focus is the care, recovery and release of injured or ailing wild birds. The160-acre facility is located near Navajo Reservoir and includes a 6,800-square-foot flight aviary. Jackson started the operation when she realized there was a need to help injured wildlife. She is licensed as a rehabilitator by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 2004, the facility has taken in more than 500 injured birds ranging from hummingbirds to eagles to wild swans.

The program is free, but every vehicle entering the park must have a pass. The daily entry fee is $7 and an annual pass costs $70.

For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife, visit http://cpw.state.co.us.

This story was posted on May 19, 2014.