Grinnell, the famous peregrine falcon who nests with his family at University of California at Berkeley's Campanile tower, got out of the hospital in Walnut Creek and is likely on his way back to school.
Walnut Creek's Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital said last Tuesday it released Grinnell at UC's Lawrence Hall of Science in the Berkeley hills, where biologists determined Grinnell could easily find his way back to his nest.
Grinnell was brought to Lindsay on Oct. 28 after he was found at the Berkeley Tennis Club sitting on a garbage can and not moving or flying away. Doctors found injuries from a possible intraspecies fight, including damage to his upper beak, a wound near his chin and throat, and an injured left wing.
Grinnell had minor surgery on his wing and received two weeks of rehabilitation, including homecare with a volunteer species manager and falcon expert.
Lindsay's lead wildlife veterinarian Krystal Woo said Grinnell's recovery was especially rewarding, as peregrine falcons can be challenging to treat.
"Peregrine falcons can generally be difficult patients due to their intense natures and high stress levels while in care," Woo said in a statement. "Grinnell's progress had its ups and downs and just as I was beginning to worry, he started healing. Grinnell has been a good patient."
Researchers are following Grinnell's progress to see how he's received at home by partner Annie after disappearing for a few weeks. Peregrine falcons are known to mate for life, but may find a new mate if one dies. Bird lovers at Cal Falcons have a webcam in the Campanile to see what happens (https://calfalcons.berkeley.edu/).
To find out more about the Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital, go to https://lindsaywildlife.org/help-hospital/.