What You Can Do to Help Wildlife in the Winter

By Sarah Wright, VM2

Now that we are in the depths of winter, many of you may be wondering how to help your local wildlife. It is important to recognize that winter places an environmental stressor on wildlife and different species of wildlife use various methods to adapt to this stress. Although it is typically best to avoid directly interfering with wildlife, there are steps you can take to indirectly help Illinois wildlife survive the winter. The best ways to do this are to provide access to native habitat and native food and to provide water year-round.

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Red-Shouldered Hawk Case

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.

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