This past Tuesday night, two nestling raptors arrived separately at the hospital well after regular hours. We are grateful that the people who found these birds cared enough to get them to us right away. Any evidence of fly eggs or maggots constitutes an ’emergency’ for an injured animal as maggots do eat living flesh, contrary to what many people think.
It was midnight after we finished the painstaking process of cleaning off fly eggs, maggots and providing necessary medications and subcutaneous fluids, but we were able to get a good night’s sleep, knowing that the birds were warm and comfortable, and we had done all we could.
It’s hard to express how gratified we were to see them looking alert and hunger-calling the next morning. That afternoon we were able to do a further examination, including x-rays, to determine whether there were other injuries. After the birds have stabilized, they will be placed with fosters of their species for the remainder of their time in rehabilitation.
Like songbirds, birds of prey go through the process of being a helpless nestling fed by the parents in the nest, to ‘branching’ out from the nest as a fledgling, when they are still dependent on the parents for food, to achieving immature status, when they are learning to hunt to finally becoming independent and leaving the natal territory to find a place on their own in the wild.
Although it is natural for birds to be found on the ground for a period of time after ‘branching’ or fledging. It is not natural for them to be unable to move from one place or to be covered with flies or have an obvious injury.
Fellow Mortals exists to help when you have a question about a wild creature that may be injured or orphaned. We’re happy to have you call 365 days a year for advice–it’s why we’re here.
You will reach our answering machine when you call 262-248-5055. We do not have a receptionist, but do check messages frequently inbetween providing patient care. Please do wait for a call back before coming to the hospital, so that someone will be ready to help you.