Colorado family needs help locating falcon lost in southwest Oklahoma

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 4:04 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:14 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The hunt is on for a falcon that went missing during a national falconry event near the Quartz Mountains earlier this month.

Nico is a juvenile peregrine hybrid falcon who went missing after his family brought him to Oklahoma from Colorado for a national falconry event on November 17th.

“The wind actually picked him up and took him off. I would have expected him to flap up on the roof, wait for us to feed him and zoom back down but the wind took just took him off and carried him clean over the mountain,” said Ronan McDonough.

Falconers got right to work trying to track Nico down.

“There’s several other falconers that jumped in, we all tried to fly lures and go through our procedures to recover a bird. All of that failed. We extended our stay to try to find him,” said Will McDonough.

Now, nearly two weeks later, the family is hoping someone in the area will see the bird, which has a green and yellow leash attached to it.

“High points. Telephone poles are a big thing for a trained falcon like this. Towers, radio towers, treetops, mountain tops, anything high. These falcons want to go as high as possible. With a three-foot leash he won’t be able to fly as well as everything else so he’ll be more grounded,” McDonough said.

If you see him, here’s what to do.

“Throw up your hand like this like if you have a gauntlet on, even if you don’t have a gauntlet, he doesn’t bind, he doesn’t claw your hand. Then just do a 2 whistle so it’s like this, then shake your hand like this and he’ll fly down to it if he can,” McDonough said.

If he can’t fly down, they ask you take a picture of the bird so they can rescue him as soon as possible.

“There are several falconers from the Oklahoma Falconer Association down there that are on standby to run over and grab him because at this point, he needs food desperately. With that leash attached, he’s not able to hunt for himself so it’s critical he gets raw meat as soon as possible,” McDonough said.

Time is ticking and the hope is there will be a happy ending. But either way, McDonough is incredibly thankful for the help he’s received.

“I do have to say your community has been amazing. The fire chief of Hobart was the first one to spot Nico. But everyone we spoke to was so accommodating and just so helpful, it was so humbling to see the community get behind us and help us the way they did,” McDonough said.

There is a cash reward for finding Nico. He was last seen around Hobart. If you find him, you can find the contact the family at 720-438-9199.

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