The Draper Museum Raptor Experience will be 10 years old in 2021. In honor of its anniversary, Museum Minute is featuring the 11 raptors in the program. The Raptor Experience is a live raptor education program that shares the region’s wild animals with visitors to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Hayabusa is a Peregrine falcon. She has a different injury than most of the other birds in the experience. Haya has ligament damage instead of a fracture that didn’t heal properly.
No one is sure how she got injured, but Melissa Hill, the live raptor program manager, said it was probably when she was in pursuit of dinner. She was so focused on the bird that she hit the front of her wing on an object. Hill said she’s probably around 12 years old.
“Twelve years old doesn’t seem that old but peregrine falcons have very high risk lifestyles and in the wild, the majority of them don’t live four to six years. And the lucky ones make it 10 or 12.”
Most predatory birds that have a blue, grey color feed on other birds.
“It has got to have something to do with blending in either sky or cliffs or something when they’re trying to chase down those other birds,” said Hill. “Peregrine falcons can actually kill birds four times their own size. And Hayabusa, she’s a little bit bigger than a crow. So she only weighs about two pounds.”
Museum Minute was a series co-produced with Wyoming Public Media (WPM).