It was mid-July 2008, and I was working a 6:30-9:30 shift at the Exploits Valley SPCA. The phone rang, and on the other end was a woman who had found an abandoned falcon at Catamaran Park in Badger.

ClarenceWe had many avians come through our doors, but never to my knowledge did we have to deal with a lost falcon. I phoned my supervisor, who told me to tell the concerned lady to bring the bird to our facility.

Upon arrival, I noticed the woman had the little one settled in a nice plastic container, and he was as content as anything! I transferred him to a small cat carrier, filled with grass and whatever other greens I could get my hands on. That would do for the moment, but we still had to decide what and how to feed him and where to keep him. Her job done, the bird’s rescuer left him with us to figure it out.

My supervisor arrived 20 minutes later with a pair of tweezers and ground beef to feed the falcon. Then she mentioned we couldn’t leave the little guy alone overnight in case something happened to him. I volunteered to bring him home and nurse him through the night.

When I got home, my parents were in complete shock at the fact we had to not only care for another animal, but a falcon at that. I went straight to my room with the carrier and started covering my bed in old newspapers. This was going to be one long night!

I opened up the door to the carrier and little Clarence (as I had named him) hopped right out, gentle as a lamb. I offered him some ground beef. He gobbled it up and kept chirping for more. After I finished feeding him, I let him hop around for a bit on the bed and the floor, then put him back in the carrier for the night. I had cleared off the nightstand next to my bed and positioned his carrier on it in such a way that when I woke up during the night to check on him, I could easily peek into the carrier. I feared something would happen to him, and the thought of his death often crossed my paranoid mind.

Morning arrived and I woke to find Clarence still alive and well. I was scheduled to work at 8:30-12:30 that day, so I put him in the vehicle and took him with me to the shelter. He came home with me for the next few nights until we made contact with Salmonier Nature Park near St. John’s. The wildlife reserve offered to take the falcon in and get him used to the wild. It was on the day that Mac Pitcher from the nature park came to pick him up that I learned Clarence was a male Merlin falcon.

I had to hold back my tears as he was loaded aboard the van for the trip to his new destination and the beginning of a new life. In September, I made contact with the park to see how he was doing, and it was confirmed that he made successful flight on September 7, 2008. I was overjoyed to hear of the success, but to this day I miss Clarence.

For more on the Exploits Valley SPCA click on this link:

Chris has also written a little bit about his volunteering work at the EVSPCA which you can read here:

Paws and Claws

By Chris Janes
Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland



One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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