This case summary was written by Ellie Andersen, a second year veterinary student volunteer, as part of our student blog series.
History: A red-tailed hawk was brought in to the clinic on November 22nd. It was found on the ground in front of a barn, and did not resist capture or attempt to fly away.
This beautiful barred owl has recently been accepted as a new member of the resident raptor team!
She initially presented this past spring because she was unable to fly. Radiography, palpation, and range of motion exams determined she had a very old upper humeral fracture. The proximity to the shoulder joint and chronicity of damage made veterinarians determine she would not be a candidate for surgery. Volunteers asked a local raptor facility to flight test her, as she was remarkably non-painful and otherwise very healthy, but she was returned having been deemed non-flighted and non-releasable. Due to the owl’s unusually calm and docile personality, our PR team assessed her for life as a resident. She not only passed with flying colors, she has been progressing well through her basic training and is increasingly comfortable with her care team. In fact, they hope to choose and announce her name in the near future.
We welcome support for our resident raptors like this owl, Odin, Derby, and others! Participating in our limited-edition campaign with Animalia Collective is a fun way to show off and support our mission. A single shirt purchase will cover our new owl’s meals and training for a day! Check out the unique designs here: http://bit.ly/2k83Paa
Winter is coming, and wildlife animals are preparing. Each species handles the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter differently; some animals hibernate, some animals migrate, and some animals adapt to the climate around them.
Human intervention may not be necessary but it will certainly help our wildlife when winter draws near. Taking these steps will prevent injury and increase their chances of survival.
Migration is an important journey for many species of not only birds but mammals as well. Birds generally migrate in the fall to places where the weather is warmer or they can find food. Species we see migrating through Illinois include the Canada goose, sandhill cranes, broad-winged hawks, warblers, hummingbirds, and several species of ducks. Other animals that migrate include snakes, insects such as butterflies, and in other parts of the world you may see elk migrating.
- During this time, birds are susceptible to injury. Many are injured by flying into windows, a common presentation in the Wildlife Medical Clinic. You can help wildlife avoid these injuries by adjusting their windows to be less reflective. This can be achieved by placing decal stickers on the window or arranging tape in an irregular pattern. There are also non-reflective screens or transparent films that may be purchased to protect these birds.