Published July 1, 2013
A falcon got a lift by public transport from Skaftafell in the Southeast to Reykjavík on Saturday. During its journey, it had to change buses twice and almost broke out of the cardboard box it was being transported in, RÚV reports.
The gyrfalcon, a protected animal in Iceland, was found on a roadside near national park Skaftafell, looking rather dazed. It was brought to the rangers who quickly asked a couple of British volunteers who were leaving the park, to escort “somebody” to Reykjavík.
Gordon McKenzie and his girlfriend Lucy Holloway, were quite shocked when they discovered it was a falcon. They said the falcon, a female bird, was rather peevish about having to stay in a cardboard box on the bus.
“It managed to get its head and one talon out so we were trying to push it back down with a towel. We didn’t want to hurt it but we had to get the talon, which is the most dangerous bit, back in. Then we got worried that it wouldn’t have enough air so we started poking holes in the box, which made it very angry,” Gordon explained to the TV reporter.
Gordon and Lucy had to change buses both in Vík and in Selfoss, and in Vík they had to buy adhesive tape to repair the holes on the box. But in the end, they got the falcon safely to Reykjavík where it was taken to the Reykjavík Zoo and Family Park.
An ornithologist examined the bird and found that it had gotten dirty with spew from fulmars it had most likely been attacking and then flown onto something, wounding its wing but not breaking it.
The falcon will be cleaned and allowed to recover in the park for a few weeks before being released into the wild again.