Sunday, September 6, 2015

Another wrong ID

I made yet another drive to Thermop this morning to pick up what was called a Cooper's Hawk by the people who found him. This is, in fact, an immature male Swainson's Hawk. They are quite different in size and coloring. The Swainson's, a buteo, has dark eyes, heavily barred chest, a white bib and their tail is not longer than the tips of their folded wings. The Cooper's, an accipter, has yellow green eyes and a a very long tail extending way beyond the tip of the folded wings. You can see the difference in the two photos above. The Swainson's is on top resting in a sling to keep him in a normal position without putting strain on his bad leg. The immature Cooper's below.

This Swainson's didn't get to me for a week after being probably hit by a car, not good if there can be repair to the damaged wing. He goes in on Wednesday morning for xrays and exam. The worst problem is his right leg, he can't stand at all and only has limited movement in the toes.

I learned a long time ago that I can't, and shouldn't, save them all just because I can. The quality of life is very important when dealing with a wild bird. Therefore, the prognosis for this beautiful bird is very questionable.

UPDATE: Sadly this wonderful baby bird was euthanized this morning. His xrays showed that the right shoulder joint is nothing but crumbs, totally destroyed by the car strike. I'm just sorry it took so long to get him to me as I'm sure that damage was very painful. Not any more, he's at peace now.

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