Pilfered peregrine: Stuffed falcon, school's mascot, mysteriously disappears from BGSU

An adult peregrine falcon in Toledo.
An adult peregrine falcon in Toledo.

BOWLING GREEN -- Bowling Green State University officials are investigating the mysterious disappearance of a stuffed peregrine falcon, which went missing from a display case at the Life Sciences building on campus sometime between Nov. 8 and Nov. 13.

Police are investigating but say they have few leads in the case that they're calling the "pilfered peregrine."

“We really don't know what the motive was. We are dismayed that someone took our falcon," said BGSU spokesman Dave Kielmeyer.

The peregrine falcon has been the university mascot since 1927 and images of the bird are prevalent around the campus. This particular falcon was part of the university’s Ornithology Collection of more than 2,400 birds. About 1,100 specimens are on display on the third and fourth floors of the Life Sciences Building on the north side of campus.

The glass display case on the third floor is usually locked but BGSU police indicated the lock was jimmied on the case that housed the missing specimen.

The bird may be a part of the original collection of Edwin L. Moseley, a distinguished naturalist who was the first professor of science at what was then Bowling Green Normal College, now BGSU, said Mr. Kielmeyer.

“If the falcon is returned, we are not interested in pressing charges,” said Jeffrey Miner, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. “We just want it back. Please do not throw it out.”

The bird is considered to be very valuable and it also should be handled carefully because “long-term exposure to preservatives that were commonly used in older taxidermy can be harmful,” Mr. Miner said. “Any taxidermy specimens should be handled with gloves."

Campus officials are asking that the falcon be returned to the Department of Biological Sciences or to campus police. A message about its location also can be left at 419-372-2332.