The Raptor Cam Fledgling that came into the Audubon Wildlife Care Center a week or so ago after being picked up playing tag with cars on Burnside has made a return visit. He was picked-up again on Friday on the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. It appears this time that he actually was struck by a car. He had extensive swelling on the right side of his head and damage to his right eye. He is also favoring one of his legs. Our veterinarian Deb Sheaffer stabilized him yesterday on intake and is running more extensive diagnostics this morning. She report that he is much more alert and bright this morning and that the swelling has subsided. However she is concerned about permanent damage to the eye. She will be consulting with veterinary ophthalmologists over the next could of days.The fledgling was 10 grams heavier than we released him. Almost exactly a week elapsed between his release back at the nest and this most recent incident.. The fledglings are obviously moving further afield of the nest---this bird had crossed into East Portland.
Eye injuries are particularly tough on raptors. They count on their amazing vision to hunt. Even minor eye injuries can put a bird of prey at a huge disadvantage. We will know more in the coming days.
The red-tails are not the only raptors learning to fly this week in downtown Portland. Three peregrine also fledged off the Fremont Bridge last week as well. Peregrines have nested on the Fremont since 1994 and have fledged 49 young from this site. Two of the fledglings at Fremont fledged without incident, but the third came to the ground and was subsequently harassed by a dog. We captured her, gave her an example and determined that she was not injured, banded her, and then set her free back at the bridge. The following pictures were taken at her release.