08182016 Turkey Vulture

Location of Rescue: 
Columbia City, IN
Admission Date: 
UPDATE: We are very excited that this juvenile turkey vulture has made a complete recovery. During the past week he was flown (creance) to recondition his flight muscles. He was able to fly both with a gentle toss as well as taking off from the ground. He was flown his final time on September 25, 2016 and our rehab coordinator authorized his release. On that same day we contacted the individual that found him and met up with her and her Mother in the Columbia City / Tri Lakes area. We found an area close to where he was found that was a little more suitable for release as we didn’t want him to be released close to the road. With a little bit of encouragement he was able to take off from the ground and rounded the corner of a stand of trees and could be seen gaining altitude on his way home. Shortly afterwards we observed several turkey vultures soaring above the release area. We are hoping that this was family members welcoming this little one home.

We got a call from the rescue coordinator that a bird needed to be picked up in the Columbia City, IN area.  I met the lady in Coesse, IN. She was transporting, on her lap, a juvenile Turkey Vulture. She found it on the side of the road flapping around so she assumed it got hit by a car. Got her information and then transported the bird to the pens where we did an initial evaluation. Keel, eyes, and feet / talons all appeared to be ok.  However the left wing may have an injury at the wrist. Right wing appeared ok. The bird still had downy feathers on its back and belly. Update will be provided once Dr Funnell has completed her examination.

Medical update:  Upon presentation, this immature turkey vulture was alert, a good weight, but almost unable to stand.  He attempted to stand but was very wobbly and could not take steps.  Radiographs revealed a green-stick fracture of his ulna (which should heal well with no treatment) and no obvious pelvic or back fractures.  Since he was found next to the road he was probably either hit by a vehicle or caught in the airstream of a vehicle and rolled.  We are hoping he just has some bruising and inflammation in his back that will resolve with time,  He is on an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.

He is doing great!  He walks normally and climbs a ramp to a top perch where he prefers to reside!  But he does quickly come down to the feeding platform for dinner.  He will rest for a few more weeks before beginning Creance flying to recondition those flight muscles.

He is recovering more quickly than expected.  He is walking around a pen but still lying down much of the time to rest.  He is recovering marvelously! In fact, you would never know he had been injured by the way he moves around his pen!  The pen is small enough he cannot fly so he will rest in there awhile longer before being creance flown to condition his muscles back into shape!


How You Can Help

It's important to rescue, rehab, and share these birds with the community, and we thank our donors and volunteers for making it possible.
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