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Red-Tailed Hawk with Broken Jaw Moves on Out

Posted on 20 December 2006 by Dawn Keller

It's been awhile since we provided you with an update for the Red Tailed Hawk that had jaw surgery. As you might recall, our friends at Lake County Animal Control brought the bird to us after it was struck by a vehicle up in Antioch. The lower jaw had sustained a compound fracture (exposed bone) but our great vets at Niles Animal Hospital were able to insert a very small orthopedic pin in order to repair the jaw.

When the Red Tail arrived at our facility, she had a full crop despite having just been in a major accident. For anyone who doesn't know, the full crop indicates that she had just enjoyed a large meal. I should have known that this bird was as tough as nails from the fact that she didn't regurgitate her large meal after being hit. Well, she continues to prove to use that she is REALLY tough as nails.

This is one of the most aggressive Red Tails that we've ever had at our facility and she doesn't miss an opportunity to try and hurt us. We love her spunk. As Dr. Wilmes at Niles Animal Hospital said, "This is the kind of bird that you want to send off to have babies." If I was a betting person, I would bet that this bird will live a very long life after her release and I hope that she will raise some really capable and independent young.

Anyway, the Red Tail was moved out to pre-release caging about two weeks ago. She was moved out with an adult Red Tail that had sustained a broken ulna (bone in the wing) and a juvenile Red Tail who also sustained a broken ulna. Both of these birds have also made complete recoveries.

The three birds are doing well and should be released in the next two - three weeks. We'll keep you posted.

Dawn

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