Darla, one of four peregrine falcon chicks raised on the Greysolon Plaza building in Duluth this summer, died Aug. 14 at the Raptor Center in the Twin Cities. She had been found in a weakened condition in Duluth the day before and was taken to the Raptor Center the morning of Aug. 14.
“They did X-rays on her and found some old bone fractures, so they did a full necropsy on Monday,” said Julie O’Connor a naturalist and volunteer coordinator at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth. “She had several healed fractures in her legs, a more recent fracture on her humerus, and she had a horrible case of aspergillosis, which is a fungal infection. She was quite thin also.”
O’Connor said it appeared that Darla, one of four chicks raised by two adult peregrines, had some form of a bone disease, the avian equivalent to rickets.
“She’s a bit of a puzzle, hopefully an anomaly,” O’Connor said.
Of the four chicks, three were males. One of them died the day after he fledged in late June. The other two males are presumed to be alive, O’Connor said.