Inside This Issue…
- The Hawk that Wouldn’t Budge
- Notes from the Field by Jordan West
- Remodel Accommodates More Raptors!
- Spring Online Auction
- 2020 Annual Report
Download your copy of the 2021 Spring Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2021 Spring Wingbeats HERE!
Photos by J. Bray and M. Alverson
On July 13, 2020, a young bald eagle was admitted to RAPTOR Incorporated’s Rehabilitation Center from a gravel quarry in Lynchburg, OH. The eagle was brought in by Randy Morgan, ODNR’s Indian Creek Wildlife Area Manager, and Fallsville Wildlife Area Staff. On exam, the eagle was found to be suffering from an open humeral fracture of the left wing near the shoulder, and an infestation of ectoparasites (parasites that live on the outside of the body, such as fleas). The bird was treated with fluids, antiparasitic medications, wound care and immobilization of the wing.
The next morning the eagle was seen by Dr. Peter Hill at PetCare Animal Hospital. His exam confirmed a left humeral spiral comminuted wing fracture with 2 large floating bone chips. Surgery was immediately performed, where an intramedullary (IM) pin and wires were placed to stabilize the fractures. The wound was sutured closed and the bird was given antibiotics and pain medication. Oral antibiotics were continued for 10 days.
On August 4th, the eagle was seen by Dr. Hill for a recheck. The fracture site was stable and the stitches were removed. The eagle was cleared to go outside to a small enclosure to limit mobility for 1 week. On September 1st, the eagle was seen by Dr. Hill for a 2nd and final recheck. The IM pin was removed and X-rays confirmed the fracture had healed nicely. The eagle was given medications for pain and inflammation and moved to the large L-shaped flight enclosure for conditioning. Available perching was kept low to prevent a possible re-injury. One week later, the eagle was seen using a stick to climb up to a 5-foot perch. On camera, the injured wing looked droopy, so the eagle was re-examined. The fracture site was stable and the feathers that were dropped at the injury site were confirmed to be coming in.
On September 16th, the eagle was seen on camera taking short flights from the ground to a 5-foot perch, so the 13-foot perches were raised in the enclosure to encourage the eagle to exercise. A few weeks later the eagle was seen on a 13-foot perch, and on October 14th it was flying the entire length of the large L-shaped enclosure perch to perch!
On November 1st, the young bald eagle was released into its home territory by Alice McCaleb, with 13 witnesses in attendance, including several representatives from RAPTOR Incorporated and county and state wildlife agencies. The eagle flew strongly into the high winds, circled above the release site then headed out over the small nearby lakes toward a large stand of trees. Thanks to the wonderful dedication and collaboration between ODNR, RAPTOR Inc., and Dr. Hill, this magnificent bald eagle gets a second chance to live wild and free!
Photos by Jordan West
In early October, 2020 Ranger Kendra Keuffer was called to the scene at Armleder Park of Great Parks of Hamilton County. A great horned owl had become entangled in a soccer net and needed to be cut free. Although RAPTOR Incorporated encourages the community to take down sports netting when not in use, there will still be instances when birds get trapped during sports seasons.
The owl had struggled so fiercely that the net had completely encompassed the bird. At the Raptor Center the last bit of “necklace” was removed. Fortunately for this owl, no fractures were sustained during the struggle and recovery time was short; bruising and soreness resolved, and soon the bird regained its ability to fly. Conditioning for release began and the owl increased its endurance and exhibited good lift, flying quickly from the ground to high perches in our flight enclosures.
Less than three weeks had passed when the bird was released back to Armleder Park (although away from the soccer nets!) in the early evening. Without wasting any time, the great horned owl emerged from the box and flew straight away into the woods, not wasting any time for goodbyes.
Photo by Ben Kitzler
On September 16, 2020, an immature (hatch-year) turkey vulture was admitted to the Raptor Center. The finder reported that the vulture had been lying on his porch for three days before admission. On exam, the young vulture was unable to stand or fly. The bird showed a pain response when the left wing was examined, but no fracture or obvious injury was detected. Since the bird was unable to stand, the rehabilitators were concerned that the bird could have a spinal injury. After the bird was stabilized, it was taken to Dr. Ann Manharth, DVM, for examination and radiographs. The x-rays showed a very concerning spinal lesion. Only time would tell if the spinal injury would result in permanent damage.
The turkey vulture was returned to the Raptor Center and treated with fluids, nutritional supplementation, and anti-inflammatory medication. After five days of rest and tender loving care, the bird miraculously began to stand. A few days later, it was well enough to be moved outside to the flight enclosures, where it was able to make short, low flights. Over the next two weeks, the bird rapidly improved with no permanent damage from the spinal lesion and was soon flying the length of the 100-foot flight enclosure and perching on the 13-foot high perch. This vulture was ready for release!
The young vulture was returned to its home territory, where it joined a flock of other turkey vultures and soared high on the rising thermals.
Photo by Mike Hollan
An osprey admitted to the Raptor Center at the end of August, 2020 was captured in a most unlikely place, in the middle of the street in front of an auto repair shop in the heart of North Bend. These large, diurnal birds with their 5-foot wingspan are usually seen flying gracefully above rivers or lakes or a body of water, but in this case it was found at night with no water nearby.
The initial examination showed the bird was in good body condition, weighing in at a healthy weight of over 3 and one-half pounds, and, fortunately, with no evidence of trauma. Sporting orangish-yellow eyes, we knew it was an immature bird which hatched this spring. Like other inexperienced birds which hatch and begin to find their way in the world, this osprey’s inexperience got it into trouble. Without finding a spot to roost for the night, it ended up on the ground and in a dangerous situation.
Fortunately, caring people found the bird and were able to capture it. From there, the Raptor Center was able to give the osprey safe haven, letting it fly in our flight enclosure with grace and ease until its release two days later. Osprey are notorious for being difficult eaters in captive situations. So, we enlisted the help of a volunteer, Joe Lucas, to supply us with some live, wiggling fish to entice it to eat. The osprey was banded by volunteer Jeff Hays and released at East Fork Lake where it immediately took off and flew across the lake and out of sight.
Usually that is the end of the story, but in this case a local photographer, Mike Hollan, was able to capture the banded osprey on film a few days later. After ospreys hatch and disperse from their nesting grounds, they eventually make their way south to Central or South America. Unlike most migratory birds, the immature osprey, with their orange eyes, will return two years later with the bright yellow eyes of an adult.
Download your copy of the 2021 Winter Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2020 Fall Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2020 Summer Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2020 Spring Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2020 Winter Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2019 Fall Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2019 Summer Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2019 Spring Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2019 Winter Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2018 Fall Wingbeats HERE!
Download your copy of the 2018 Summer HackBack HERE!