Precious falcon flies free

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Gibbston Valley’s native falcon population has increased by 20 per cent – last Sunday Peregrine Wines brand ambassador Greg Hay released this perky youngster at Millbrook Resort. 

The female bird – known as Tuhaahi, Maori for Spitfire – is one of two bred in Rotorua from injured parents unable to fly. 

Tuhaahi’s brother Aragorn Fiord was released by Peregrine in early December. Before that, Hay estimates, there were at most only four of the rare falcons flying wild in Gibbston.