07202017 Turkey Vulture
On July 20th, I was called to get a Turkey Vulture in New Haven that, I was told, was in the back of a truck and just needed to be picked up. When my husband and I got there, we discovered that the bird was wedged between the cab of a semi, and the trailer. He had been hit around Valparaiso, and had been riding in the space, all the way to Ft. Wayne. When we arrived, we found that the driver had been trying to move the bird with a stick, but the bird was so stuck that he could not be moved up or down, or side to side. The space where he was wedged was about five inches wide. With my husband's help, we finally were able to move him up toward the top of the cab so that I could grab his feet and pull him up. I had to get on top of the cab, with the help of a forklift. I had to pull so hard to get him out of this small space that I thought for sure he would be a crushed mess. When I got him out of the space, he laid on his back with his wings out. I could not see any obvious injuries! The bird actually flipped over and stood on his feet. I contained him and put him in a carrier and took him to Dr. Funnell for x-rays. She could not detect any injuries except a little blood in his trachea, and possible blood in his lungs.
He was transferred to the pens, and Sat., 7/21, he seemed perfectly healthy and was creance flown. The volunteers that flew him said he took the entire line several times, with altitude. In fact, they said they had never seen a Turkey Vulture creance fly so well!
Amazing! I understand the statement "tough old bird" now.