06242019 Cooper's Hawk - 2
Contact (Tina) called Soarin’ Hawk to request help with four baby birds that fell to the ground from their nest in her back yard. When I arrived at her house, she had placed the birds in a plastic tub to keep them safe.
As I started to observe and ask Tina for details to get a better understanding of the circumstances, Tina advised that the birds fell from their nest several hours previously and that she saw one of the birds fall.
Tina didn’t know who to call for help, so she called the DNR, which directed her to Soarin’ Hawk. Before calling the DNR, Tina watched over the babies for a couple hours, unsure of what to do, but wanted to keep them safe from predators.
Tina said that the mother had been flying around and calling for the babies, but she hadn’t seen the mother for a while. As she was pointing out where the nest was, I observed the mother flying in the nearby trees and calling. As we continued to look for the nest, Tina pointed out that I was standing on most of it, which was just branches scattered on the ground. The babies fell because the nest was destroyed – likely by weather.
Preliminary Raptor Evaluation:
Because I had four birds and it was getting dark, I performed a very preliminary evaluation of the birds. I determined that one of the birds had a high fracture of the right leg. Otherwise, all birds appeared to be in good health.
Although I would have preferred the keel score each of the birds on-site, it was late, Tina saw the birds fall within the past couple hours, and mom was nearby; so, I decided taking the birds to the ICU was higher priority and the keels could be scored there. All birds were scored a 2.5 (a good score).
Upon further evaluation of each bird in ICU, we found a left-wing injury on the same bird with the broken leg. We also found that one of the other birds appeared to be stumbling and may have a right leg injury. Because the birds fell as much as 65 feet from the nest, a full medical evaluation will be performed to see if there are additional injuries that could not be identified with a physical evaluation.
Four baby Cooper’s hawks fell from a destroyed nest. Injuries were noted so the birds were taken to ICU for medical evaluation. However, placing healthy babies back in the nest tree as soon as possible is the preferred strategy. Injured bird(s) will require rehabilitation if possible.