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UPDATE: Potential Cause of Death of Mayo Clinic's Four Falcon Chicks

UPDATE: Potential Cause of Death of Mayo Clinic's Four Falcon Chicks Photo: Mayo Clinic .

June 18, 2018 09:50 AM

(ABC 6 News) - We have an updated on the cause of death for four Perrigin Falcon chicks at Mayo Clinic last month. 

A Mayo spokesperson says, "based on the lab results, one suspected cause of death is poisoning. A test of whether a viral infection could have caused the hatchlings’ death is still pending."

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However, the source of the potential toxin is unknown. Mayo Clinic says poisons for pest control are not used on the Rochester campus.

"Although the loss is hard to watch, death occurs frequently in nature," says Jacquelyn Fallon, Midwest Peregrine Society. "With toxicity as a suspected cause of death, it is a reminder how poisons are an indiscriminate killer and, if used, the wide range of effect they can have on species in the area."

The falcon chicks parents, Orton and Hattie have been spotted flying in the area, although Mayo says they are spending much less time in their nesting box.

The four falcon chicks died on Friday, May 11. Their remains were removed from the nest atop the Mayo Building and sent to a wildlife diagnostic lab in Madison, Wisconsin.

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