Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More new residents

I got a call from the local animal shelter on Saturday about a hawk someone had brought in. It's only a couple miles from my house so I immediately drove over there and found waiting for me a beautiful immature Swainson's Hawk. He was found in a field at the Sunlight Ranch in Clark either unwilling or unable to fly.

I can't see anything wrong other than he's very thin and hungry. He's been eating all his meals and should be strong enough to go into a flight area by this coming weekend. Then it's a matter of finding out if he is strong enough so he can be released back to the wild.

These birds spend the winters in South America and as this is probably a baby of 2012 he's at least lived longer than 80% of baby birds. Perhaps the return flight just took too much out of him so all he needs is some good groceries and he'll be all set.

The second new arrival is another baby Golden Eagle. I think this is a female and she came from Buffalo. Thanks to USFWS person, Pauline Hope, she was taken care of overnight and driven here this morning. Xrays will confirm my suspicion of a dislocated right elbow. If that is the case, Dr. Blessing will have to make the decision on how to repair the damage. I don't know if she'll fly well enough for release but she will make an awesome educational bird if that's not possible.

UPDATE: Not a dislocated elbow. Xrays show a mid-shaft fracture of her right humerus. Bad news is that the break happened at least a month ago and is now solid and can't be rebroken for repair. All her joints in that wing work just fine but because her wing is now crooked she won't ever fly again. She's very thin so until she's gained the necessary weight she won't be put up for placement. I know she'll be brilliant on a fist as an avian ambassador.

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