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The VINS Wildlife Services department has gotten off to a slow start this winter season, with a surprisingly small number of patients in for care as compared to previous years.

Watch a video of our red-tailed hawk patient.

However, with colder temps and snowfall, we’re now seeing patients suffering various ailments come in daily for treatment, which, of course, is not good for the birds, but we’re happy to be here to help these wild animals get better. In addition to the red-tailed hawk you see here, we’ve received several barred owls, a mallard duck, a crow, a Canada goose, and a turkey vulture. The staff here is back to being quite busy with patient care.

This red-tail came in a few days ago after someone found him on the side of the road. The bird has no fractures, but is very thin and has a minor infection on his right foot. We ran a fecal, and sure enough, this bird was loaded with parasites, including roundworm — gross! — which are the likely culprits to his emaciation. We administered antiparasitics and the parasites are on their way out. The bird, as you will see in this video, is also receiving antibiotics to systemically treat his infected foot. Above left, Meghan Oliver (left) and Hannah Goldman prepare to give the bird a shot of antibiotics in his leg.

The bird’s weight is stabilizing, and he’s now eating solid food (mice). We’re hoping to plump him up in the next few weeks, mend his foot, and get him back into the wild so he can return home.

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