$1,000 reward in falcon shootings investigation

The two falcons are recovering from pellet wounds tonight at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. (Lindsay Wildlife Museum)

June 28, 2011 6:16:00 AM PDT
A $1,000 reward is being offered in the case of two wounded peregrine falcons. The Department of Fish and Game says someone in the Oakland hills opened fire on them with a pellet gun.

Veterinarians at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum Hospital in Walnut Creek are giving are treating Hiya, a peregrine falcon recovering from pellet gun wounds. Her daughter, Marina, was also shot. She's being treated there as well.

"They were both badly hurt, both of them have fractured wings, their bones have been broken by the shots, serious enough where they needed surgical fixation on the fractured wings," Lindsay Wildlife Museum Hospital spokesperson Susan Heckly said.

Both falcons were found on the ground 10 days apart in Oakland's Lincoln Heights neighborhood. Neighbors found out about it Monday from a flyer that was delivered door to door.

"Anger, absolute just horror," resident Hollis Matson said when asked about the incidents. "Who in my neighborhood could be doing something like this?"

The peregrine falcons have a famous connection. Hiya's mate was part of the family that got a lot of attention living on the roof of San Jose City Hall.

But beyond their celebrity connections, these birds, under state and a federal law, are not to be messed with, which is why Fish and Game wardens are following up every lead in hopes of finding the person responsible.

"Their population is always you know it's always on a balance beam, going up and down, up and down and they can become endangered again, really quickly," Fish and Game Warden William O'Brian said.

Veterinarians are guarded about the falcons' prognosis. They say the good news is that they are healing and eating on their own.

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