Remember the hawk I picked up two weeks ago?
I asked Melinda, one of our wonderful rehabbers, to give me some info on the "possible gun-shot" bird:
Your bird is still with us –RS06-26. If you remember, we couldn’t find a wound on the chest as a source of the blood found on the birds breast, but we could hear congestion in the lungs when it was lying on its back being examined. I started it on baytril antibiotic for aspiration pneumonia which probably would be developing. The bird got stronger and I couldn’t hear the raspy breathing any more. After 7 days on the antibiotic, I took her over to Covered Bridge and put her into a flight cage. Much too my surprise, she flew level, then upward, but missed the perch. It was apparent something was wrong with the right wing. I really felt bad because I thought this bird was good to go as soon as she exercised a bit. Felt the right wing and I couldn’t feel a thing – we’d checked it at Cindy’s too. Took it to Dr. Grossi and his x-ray showed that the wing –upper right humeral bone was shattered and metal shot fragments were also evident. Apparently the bird HAD been shot by the neighbor, and the bullet probably had gone thru the bone and into the lungs – the source of the blood the bird spit up ( not from an impact with something as we thought). The break was way high on the shoulder. Dr. Grossi explained that the reason the wing didn’t droop – normally what happens when that bone is broken - was because the shoulder muscles were so strong they held it up. This bird actually flew with the break! Unusual. Dr. Grossi said that we have had birds with similar injuries that we have kept, thinking they could be placed, but that they had healed so well that they were released. So we are going to keep this one and hope for the best. The wing had probably been healing for the 9 days I’d had the bird before putting her in the flight cage. Marilyn suggested wrapping the wing to the body for a few days to keep it in a stable position. Keep your fingers crossed. Will be 3-4 weeks before we have a better idea about releasability.
Looks like the neighbor will be getting a call from Federal Game and Wildlife officials.
Good. Damn gun-happy fool. (This is a guy who shoots starlings, which is not illegal, but he also shoots cats, according to the woman who called us about the hawk.)
But let's set the record straight: I have nothing against hunting. (Marc, I know you read this, so read on...) My brother is a hunter, and the venison we get from him is wonderful (I was raised on squirrel, rabbit and deer...it's GOOD) The people I have a problem with is the in-bred
red necks who would put a bead on a hawk.
I do wish there were fewer guns out there on the streets. But I am not going to begrudge anyone for having one, as long as they are sensible, decent citizens who don't have a plan to rob a store or shoot a cop.
Okay, I am not going to rant here...
Anyway, hopefully we can get this pretty bird back out to the wild, where it belongs. And maybe not back to the same neighborhood she was shot in.