HORUS: prairie falcon
Horus was found with a broken wing in a backyard in Sonora, California. He was transferred to the Center in October 2005. X-rays confirmed a stabilized broken wing, and treatment began. The name "Horus" comes from the ancient Egyptian god of sky, sun, and moon, and who is usually depicted as a man with the head of a falcon.
Horus went through a very long rehabilitation process. At the end of it, he still did not have full extension of the affected wing, and that condition was permanent. In addition, Horus did not show the strong flight or the quick agility needed for hunting. Prairie falcons usually hunt ground squirrels and terrestrial birds by surprising their prey with a dive from above. They will also catch birds in flight and must be in top physical condition to survive. Because of his limited flight ability, Horus is non-releasable.
Falcons are usually high-strung and nervous, but Horus is relatively calm. He now has a roomy cage in the visitor area, where he serves as a beautiful educational ambassador for birds of prey. People touring the Center can study his unique facial markings and marvel at seeing a live falcon remaining calm at such close quarters. He is housed near Cowboy, the peregrine falcon, and visitors can easily observe the differences in these two species, which are hard to distinguish in the wild.
We are fortunate to have two such beautiful falcons on display—they give visitors a rare taste of the wildness of raptors, and encourage in us all the desire to preserve the habitats so necessary for their continued survival.