The Peregrine Fund recently took five regionally endangered Orange-breasted Falcons to Belize to be released. The three female and two male falcons are part of the best hopes for reviving the dwindling population of wild falcons. They were bred in captivity in Sheridan, Wyoming, where 40 chicks have been produced, with 26 of them being released in the wild in Belize since 2006. The current wild population is thought to number fewer than 40 pairs in Central America.
The flight was organized by LightHawk, a non-profit group that mobilizes volunteer pilots to provide donated flights to protect land, water, and wildlife. At the site in Belize, the birds will be fed defrosted quail and monitored around the clock for the next three to four months as they gradually learn to hunt for themselves and are weaned from human care.
The details of the story are on the Peregrine Fund’s website and make for interesting reading.