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Warning: Graphic Content – Please use your discretion before reading the following blog.
An adult male Red-tailed Hawk was admitted to our wildlife hospital on Monday after he was found on the ground with a metal stake through his wing. He was looking for an easy meal in someone’s chicken coop and as he swooped down he flew onto a pointed pole and was impaled through his left wing.
Thankfully, the metal pole missed vital organs, muscles, and tendons. The pole pierced the hawk’s patagium, a stretch of skin on a bird’s wing that extends from their body to the head of their wrist. This flap of skin is crucial for flight, and is an extremely difficult tissue to repair.
The hawk underwent surgery on Tuesday afternoon. Dr. Claire Peterson meticulously repaired multiple layers of tissue and emphasizes the uncertainty of a full recovery. The hawk will need extensive physical therapy and will be re-evaluated frequently. For now we are grateful to be able to give this beautiful hawk a second chance.
Do you have any metal poles or other pointed objects on your property? Consider topping them off with caps or tennis balls to make them safer for wildlife.