Navajo State Park holding program on peregrine falcons

Falcons are nature's fastest flyers, and these birds can migrate over 10,000 miles in a year. Explore, experience and learn more about raptors at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 24, at the picnic pavilion at Navajo State Park.

Experts from St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation will present a special  program featuring Dooley, a peregrine falcon that had been injured in the Durango area. Pat Jackson, the sanctuary founder and director, will discuss how injured birds are rehabilitated and how they are released back to the wild. Jackson will also talk about the peregrines' life cycle, history and ecology, migration and nesting habits.

Those who attend the program will be able to get a close look at the bird and take photographs, but flash photography is not allowed.     

St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation, based in Arboles, is a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center whose primary focus is the care, recovery and release of injured or ailing wild birds. The 160-acre facility is located near Navajo Reservoir and includes a 6,800-square-foot flight aviary. Jackson started the operation when she realized there was a need to help injured wildlife. She is licensed as a rehabilitator by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 2004, the facility has taken in more than 500 injured birds ranging from hummingbirds to eagles to wild swans.

The park, located in southwest Colorado near Arboles, offers more than 100 camp sites, many with full hook-ups, and three cabins are available for rent. For more information about the park, call 883-2208. To reserve a camp spot or a cabin, call 1-800-678-2267, or go to the reservation section of the Colorado Parks and Reservation website, http://coloradostateparks.reserveamerica.com.