Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rehab gossip

I just got back from eavesdropping on this week's Rounds meeting. Once a week, all the Humans who work and volunteer at the RMRP gather together in the warehouse to ensure there are enough minions on every shift to take care of all of us Raptors, to make announcements, hand out awards and certificates, and go over the ever-changing status of all the rehab cases in the facility. Tonight's updates had me making notes in my iPhone because, for the first time in a couple of months, there are enough birds in-house to cause information-overload while listening in. Here's the quick and dirty of some of the more interesting cases:

  • Remember the Bald Eagles I mentioned a few posts ago? The slow-but-steady spinal trauma adult, and the reckless youngin' determined to knock himself senseless by forgetting to put on the brakes? Well, the  youngin' had to take a breather from the large flight cage when his lead poisoning flared up again, but he's back in a large flight cage again...and guess who's there with him? The slow-and-steady adult! Her progress has been really positive recently, so she was moved into the large flight cage with the reckless kid in the hope that she'll help him chill out a little. They're also helping each other with physical therapy: he always wants to be next to her, and she always wants to be left alone. So when she moves to a perch and he follows her there, she moves to another perch in an effort to get away...and so they're always moving and always giving themselves physical therapy. Don't worry: even though she doesn't want to be buddy-buddy shoulder-to-shoulder with him, they're actually getting along just fine. 
  • A Great Horned Owl came in a couple of weeks ago with a fractured humerus. That can be a very bad thing, but this was the kind of break that made the Humans happy: a clean, simple, middle of the bone fracture. He has a fixator on it for support, and he's confined to a critical care cage until the bone heals. Since the fracture was an easy one to deal with, this Owl is making up for it in other ways. One, he's a chewer, and the Humans are spending a lot of energy creating chew-tabs out of tape for him to gnaw on instead of the fixator. Two, he's a handful. Now, all Great Horned Owls are angry, disagreeable handfuls (and we're very proud of this), but apparently this guy is angry above and beyond the norms. I can't wait until he moves to the outside cages and I get a chance to chat with him! 
  • A Red-Tailed Hawk, hit by a car, came in a week ago in really bad shape. Of course you expect a hawk hit by a car to be in bad shape, but this hawk was stuck in the grill of a truck. By his head. And did he give up an die in the grill of that truck? Heck no. He's a Red-Tailed Hawk. They fight. This guy has massive head trauma (no surprise there) and a fractured skull. Recently he's regained enough coordination to eat on his own (I remember how hard that was for me back when I was admitted for head trauma, and I didn't have a fractured skull!) and the vision in his left eye is slowly improving. The outlook on this hawk is still guarded, but I'm really pulling for him. What a fighter!
  • A few weeks ago a female American Kestrel was admitted with a fractured ulna. Again, this was a break that was cheerfully received by the Humans because it appeared to be fixable. When the ulna breaks, it can often be stabilized by the radius alongside it, which is exactly what happened in this case. She moved out to a small outside cage this week, and will be moving to a larger flight cage soon. The resident educational Kestrel with the Twitter account will be bummed to see her move--he's pretty smitten with his new neighbor! 
Well, that's it for now. I'll try my best to sneak some pictures soon so you can see these birds I'm writing about! Of course, stay tuned for more updates, and I'll be sure to let you know when any of these brave birds get released.

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