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Injured Hawk Update--Wednesday, June 3rd, 12 am

by Bob Sallinger

kgw.com

Posted on June 2, 2009 at 11:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

Greetings from Eastern Oregon. I had a brief conversation with Mary Coolidge at Audubon this evening about the fledgling that flew into a car this afternoon. He was retrieved by Care Center volunteers and is currently being held at Audubon's Wildlife Care Center. The initial exam did not reveal any significant injuries but he will be held for observation for a day or two to ensure that everything is functioning properly. Sometimes with impact injuries we see problems 24-48 hours out. Our vet, Deb Sheaffer, will reassess him in the morning and go from there. Since we have him in captivity, we wil band him before release. There are not opportunities to visit the hawk while it is at the Care Center---we keep the injured animals off dispay to minimize their stress.

The parents will contnue feeding his sibling while he is held in captivity. It is not uncommon for parents to periodically lose track of their young during the fledging process, so his absence will not be as stressful for the parents as some folks may assume. We actually do this type of thing pretty regularly throughout the spring--we get in young hawks and owls that have suffered minor injuries, treat them for several days, and then return them to the parents. As long as the parents are caring for other young during that time period, their hormones will remain elevatedand they just resume caring for the injured youngster when it reappears. Where it gets more complicated is when there are no other young for the parents to care for during the absence--with no young to care for, the adults hormone levels will quickly drop and they will move out of their parenting mode. Fortunately we don't have that problem in this instance.

Last year we heald one of the Raptor Cam fledglings for more than a week after it crashed into a window and suffered a wing injury. That bird was successfully reunited with the parents. We released it back onto the fire escape and the parents immediately resumed caring for it.

We will continue to post updates.

Bob


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