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Gwen (short for Guinevere) arrived in December 2016 from Northwood’s falconry, a raptor breeding facility in the Pacific Northwest. I often receive advertising emails from the company which also sells raptor products and one day an email arrived advertising specific birds that needed placement. The beautiful Peregrine photo caught my eye. She was a 16-year-old recently retired breeding bird who in her youth had also been used for hunting. I immediately got on list and waited.
A month went by and knowing that a lot of people would be wanting this bird I assumed I wasn’t selected. Then I got the call from Brad. “I’m finally done reviewing the 50 emails and if you want the bird, Mollie, she’s yours.” Yippee!
Gwen arrived at LAX in a covered airline kennel wearing a hood and manning equipment. Brad said “She’s pig fat and she hasn’t been handled for years so you’re really going to have to work with her”. Well, old Gwen had a good memory because she was very easy to hold on the glove which I immediately did for a couple of hours as we watched TV together.
Not only is Gwen a breathtakingly beautiful bird but, as a species, the Peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world, reaching speeds of over 240 miles per hour in a stoop or dive. Amazing!
Gwen is now traveling in our outreach programs and will soon be flying in our on-site Falconry Basics class. We hope you will come meet her soon!