Soarin' Hawk Has a New ICU!

Soarin’ Hawk now has an ICU (intensive care unit) for extremely ill and injured raptors. Historically, the extremely ill were taken care of in volunteers’ homes.  Though the people did a great job of caring for the birds, it was not ideal.  Each bird would need to be put in a cage and transported for veterinary rechecks and minor procedures, which adds stress to an already sick wild animal.  We could not afford to buy a scale for each volunteer to monitor the birds’ weight as well as to weigh the food the animal was being fed.  A centralized facility where all the birds can be in the same room was needed to take care of injured and ill birds.

The ICU, which consists of individual metal and wooden crates to house each raptor, gives us the ability to care for the birds around the clock if necessary and eliminates the need to transport them to a separate facility for veterinary exams and basic tests.  We will also be able to anesthetize the birds and begin early physical therapy on those that have fractures; this should increase the release rate for birds with fractures.  A veterinarian or veterinary technologist examines and treats each bird several times a week.  We are also able to weigh the birds and thus can quickly detect if a bird is losing or gaining too much weight.  We are now able to weigh the food they are given to ensure they are maintaining an appropriate, healthy weight.

The ICU also houses Soarin’ Hawk’s diagnostic equipment:  an anesthetic machine, microscope, centrifuge, lead tester, and similar resources.  Cytology, fecals, and bloodwork will now be performed in the same facility in which the sick birds are housed.  By having our diagnostic equipment readily available, we are able to obtain results faster, thus improving the medical care provided for these birds. Upon admission, both a blood and fecal sample are taken, and diagnostic tests on these two categories are run within 48 hours.

We are very excited for this new advancement and are looking forward to the opportunities it brings for both the raptors and Soarin’ Hawk.