08182018 Turkey Vulture - 1 - Ziggy

Location of Rescue: 
Lagro, IN
Admission Date: 
Cause of Admission: 
Young, fell out of nest
UPDATE: 10/25/18 - I traveled from Fort Wayne to Rochester, IN to witness the release of Ziggy along with his pen mate. He was released on the property of our rehabber where there is a resident population of vultures. In fact, several were circling the area when Ziggy was released. Our hope is that he and his pen mate connected with those adult vultures and have migrated with them for the winter.

Via volunteer Mary:

It certainly takes a village; as was evidenced by the team of individuals that it took to bring in this orphaned juvenile turkey vulture.  Bob received a call from Linda Wilson, a rehabber.  She had received a call from a homeowner who found the orphan in a very old barn on her property.  Linda dispatched Tom and Shirley, who assist her from time to time, to see if they could meet up with the homeowner in Lagro, IN to assess the situation and retrieve the bird.  They found a down covered juvenile turkey vulture in a corn crib on the ground beneath, what appeared to be, a nest in the loft above.  It was standing on top of a very large snake skin and next to the skeleton of a vulture as well as a deceased sibling?  No parents were found on the property.  It is quite unusual to find a youngster covered in down at this time of the year.  Turkey vultures will be migrating south in approximately 10 weeks so we are hoping he will be ready to go by that time.  I met up with Tom and Shirley in Roanoke, IN where they gave me the information and then we transferred this very alert and feisty youngster to my rescue box.  They have affectionately named him “Ziggy.”  I then headed north to our treatment and recovery unit where he was assessed by the Saturday night crew.  His wings, legs, feet and talons all appeared normal.  Both eyes were reactive and he was very alert and feisty!  His keel was a 2, so he was a little on the thin side.  The weight was within the normal range.  In consultation with Dr. Funnell via phone, he was given subcutaneous fluids and was powdered for flat flies and lice.  He was also given one chick for supper.  He will receive fluids on Sunday as well and will be evaluated by Dr. Funnell on Monday.  We hope to start him on regular food (whole prey) on Monday.

Ziggy continues to get bigger and stronger with each passing day.  You can see that he is slowly losing his downy feathers and continues to grow in his adult plumage.  He and his pen mate will be moving to our partner rehabber on September the 16th where they will have a very large mew in which to exercise those large wings.  We are hopeful that he will be released yet this year but since turkey vultures migrate, we are keeping our fingers crossed that his adult feathers are totally in by the time of migration…..stay tuned!

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