09192016 Red-tailed Hawk - 2
I was informed by our rescue coordinator that there was a hawk that had
been on the ground since 10:00 a.m. in Hicksville, Ohio. The person who
called said that the hawk was not flying more than a few feet, and then
it would land and topple over onto its face. He said that the hawk ran
across the street to a field, and had not moved for several hours. He
thought he saw a scrape on one side of the bird. When my husband and I
approached the bird, he took off and flew about 150 yards, into a tree
in the distance! We thought he was fine until we saw that he was very
low in a tree, and was flapping his wings in an odd way. We decided to
follow it and check it out in the tree, and when we got to it, it was
hanging upside down with one foot. My husband was able to get the net
around it and bring it down. When I got a hold of the bird, I noticed
that it had a significant injury to one of its legs. It looked like old
scabs. I checked the keel and it was a 3. I saw nothing wrong with the
wings, head, or eyes. I tried to give it Gatorade, but he would not
We took the bird to Dr. Funnel, and she observed fly eggs in the wounds
on the leg. She and I flushed the leg and picked out the eggs. She
said that if the bird had not been picked up, it would have died the
next day. She said that once the eggs hatched and maggots got in the
wound, it would kill the bird because maggots secrete a toxic material.
Dr. Funnell took the bird home, where she will continue to flush the
wound and treat it.
Veterinarian examination: It is probably a male due to the small size. He weight was fair. His only apparent injury was severe tissue damage to the lateral (outside) aspect of his left leg. There were literally thousands of fly eggs in the wound. (In the photograph showing the black area of skin, note the white clump to the right and you will notice it is made of lots of tiny white dots. Each one of those dots is a fly egg.) The tissue was black which means it is dead. Fly eggs hatch within 24 hours of being laid, so the wound was possibly that fresh. The extent of the depth of the tissue damage is not yet known. The two Soarin' Hawk volunteers who rescued the bird were put to work removing all the fly eggs before they could hatch! He will probably have surgery soon. His prognosis is guarded.