On Monday, I went with my colleagues, Peter Wilkinson and David Garner, to the Raptor Foundation to see a very special bird that had been brought in injured. On examination, it was found that the broken bones in the wing were the result of a shotgun wound. Fortunately, the bird is on the mend, although it is still not certain whether it will be able to return to the wild. You see, it is no ordinary bird. It is a Peregrine Falcon, so it must be in perfect condition if it is to survive in the wild. The people at the Raptor Foundation will fly it, falcon-style on a creance, to assess its ability to fly and to stoop at prey.
If it can't make an independent living, there is the consolation that, as a captive bird, it can be bred from.
But the most amazing thing about this bird is that it was ringed last year as a nestling - in the very north of Finland, not far from Murmansk in Russia. If it is released, it will take its time returning whence it came, and should be breeding next year.
As to who or why shot the falcon, we don't know. Under my breath I have been damning the miscreant, using some fine Italian curses that I learned from an angry Neapolitan who was upset at the behaviour of another driver: Che ti bruci la casa! Che ti crepino i figli! Che la moglie ti metta le corne!
Personally, I hope the shooter's dick falls off.