Tony Bieser, VM20, Team Leader
Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus)
This hawk presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic after being found down near a public road. The finders cared for the patient for an unknown amount of time before they eventually brought them to the WMC for care. On presentation, the RSHA had an obvious left-wing deformity and was unable to fully extend their elbow and carpal joint. Because of this abnormality, radiographs were performed to determine etiology.
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.
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.