PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. Recently it was a mountain lion, or maybe a bobcat, that roamed around Pleasantville. This time, residents may have seen a slightly less threatening animal around the village, as a female falcon by the name of Ophelia briefly escaped from Pace Universitys Pleasantville campus earlier this week.
Theyre wild animal and shes a young falcon and she went out exploring, said James Eyring, care keeper for Ophelia and assistant director of Pace Universitys Environmental Center. And once that bird is out of my eye sight, she can be like oh lets go here or lets check out over there.
Ophelia was AWOL for around 12 hours beginning on Monday afternoon. Eyring recovered the falcon in Nannahagen Park on Tuesday morning. Eyring said he allows the falcon, along with the other birds in the environmental center, to briefly fly around on a daily basis for exercise. Each bird is trained to return to the center and his care, yet he said that Ophelia tends to have a rebellious and explorative tendency, and that this may not be the first time residents have spotted her around town.
Im a little bit more optimistic each time that Ill recover her because this is probably about the third or fourth time that shes escaped, Eyring said. Shes young so shes sort of like a puppy where their attention span isnt all that and she has a tendency to want to wander.
Ophelia is a Peregrine Falcon, which National Geographic lists as a large bird with a 3-foot average wingspan that is known to hunt other medium-sized birds and occasionally small mammals and reptiles. Peregrine Falcons are known for their speed and can reach upwards of 200 miles per hour in their hunting dive.
Peregrine is an adjective meaning wanderer, and Eyring said that is all too typical for Ophelia.
She definitely lives up to her name, Eyring said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.