The first lanner chick hatched in Vico
On April 23, Aida was born. This is the first lanner falcon chick to hatch in a breeding centre in Italy, excluding private falconry establishments. This is a remarkable event, and we are very proud to have reached this milestone in our project.
Aida is the first to hatch from one of our lanner couples, which we talked about in our previous article. The couple, now part of the LIFE Lanner project, were seized by the provincial police of Rome from poachers several years ago. Even in normal conditions, these animals are neurile and shy towards humans. Inadequate management has made them even more problematic, making it impossible for them to live a normal life in captivity, to the point of compromising their own health. Above all, the amount of stress these animals had to endure made them completely uninterested in breeding, even if they are sexually mature and live in a suitable aviary.
Socialization for the wellbeing of lanners
For this reason, last summer we decided to start a process of socialization with humans. We used falconry techniques aimed at reducing their stress levels. This was found to be fundamental to improve their psycho-physical well-being: from the day they were placed back in their aviary they no longer showed fear towards people, whereas just a few months earlier human presence caused them great distress, even from a distance. But overall, the most interesting outcome is how these two lanners, having changed their attitude, managed to start courtship and to breed autonomously for the first time, producing the first lanner chick of our facility.This shows that falconry techniques, if combined with knowledge of a species’ ethology, can help greatly in the management of birds of prey in a controlled environment. In our case, they allowed animals that cannot be released in nature to contribute to the conservation of their own species.