• Peg McDonald

A good news story

I can still remember the day this young Brown Falcon: Falco berigora came into care as a result of necessary tree felling by the RFS when the fires first started south of here. I put up a post about him and called him my “face of the fires” and from the get go I was concerned about his chances of survival when released without parental teaching and hunting experience.

He was joined by a multitude of other birds of prey here and eventually made his way into the circular free flight He was evacuated twice and left behind once when the fire came up the escarpment so quickly.

Through all this he continued on and then the happy day came when I found him in the free flight with a common brown rat that had made its way in, and after that day he just seemed to grow up and reach dispersal so quickly – and he was soft released here. I heard and saw him for a few days – then he was gone.

Last week the inmates that have been coming out to help me for the last two years came for the last time – and guess who turned up? Yep to everyone’s delight it was our falcon buddy, flying beautifully and doing low passes over the aviary and looking fabulous. He spent a lot of time peering into the aviary and the bird inmates ignored him , which is not how they would normally treat an “intruder”.

Just now I saw him again, and he has now been out for six weeks so I hope all is well. Unlike the other Australian falcons these guys do not typically have a specific dietary preference, rather they are opportunistic predators that will take what they can find including carrion. They also rely on their tomial tooth and strong powerful bill , rather than the clutching foot mechanism birds like Peregrines and Kestrels possess.

Hopefully he will do well and perhaps come around every now and then. I also hope he continues to help keep the plague of the notorious bush pest Rattus rattus under control in these parts.

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Higher Ground Raptor Centre is an Australian bird of prey rehabilitation, release and education facility conceived, built and managed by licensed carer Peggy McDonald CF

We are now forming a new not-for-profit company to further grow our work in raptor care, rehabilitation and conservation called Higher Ground Raptor Centre Ltd ABN 78 644 738 769. We are still in the process of seeking all our registrations. In the meantime, please continue to donate to support us on our donate page through WRSC.


In 2017 Peggy became a Churchill Fellowship recipient "to advance and exchange our knowledge of Australian raptor rehabilitation and release techniques". Since then, Peggy has travelled to the USA, Canada, Alaska, Abu Dhabi and South Africa and is currently writing her report - watch this space!

Higher Ground Raptor Centre relies entirely on the good grace and generosity of donations and sponsorship to keep the facility running.



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For all the comings and goings of Raptor rehab at Higher Ground Raptor Centre you can go to: