Red-Tailed Hawk Release #07232018
Story via Barb Hathaway :
Good Samaritans and Angels do exist! One very lucky Red Tailed Hawk, who shall remain nameless, knows that for certain....
On Monday, July 23rd, a kind person came upon a Red Tailed Hawk by the side of the road right here in Fort Wayne. The bird made no attempt to flee, a red flag that something was terribly wrong. After a few phone calls the rescuer was told to contact Soarin' Hawk Raptor Rehab. Upon initial examination of this bird, Dr. Funnell found blood coming from the left ear, a wound over the right eye where flies had already deposited their eggs that turned into maggots. Flat flies and lice were covering the bird, adding to its misery. Not knowing how the bird was injured, we could only assume it was a car strike...xrays revealed no broken bones...but this beauty still needed lots of attention and time to heal.
Subcutaneous fluids for re-hydration, pain meds, antibiotics, ivermectin to kill off the parasites that had invaded its body and a warm place to rest were provided so she could regain some strength. Despite it's lethargic condition and injuries, this bird was still at a healthy weight which indicated it hadn't been down for very long. Our normal protocol is to continue with re-hydration for a few days until the bird can eat on its own and to also administer daily pain meds and antibiotics. It wasn't long before she was eating on her own, slowing getting stronger, feistier and after several weeks it was clear she was ready to get out of ICU and into our larger pens with other rehabbing Red Tailed Hawks.
Flight conditioning or creance is the final treatment prior to a bird getting released back in the wild. Just like humans convalescing, muscles are not as strong while you are recovering, so it takes time to build them back up.