Jan 2 - Jan 8

One Tough Bird

If Red-tailed Hawk 17-005 could talk, what a story she would tell. She was shot in early December. Her right femur and left tibiotarsus were fractured. She must have been in very good shape in order to survive three or four weeks, long enough for her broken legs to heal, before being rescued. Her rescuers found her lying in the snow, too weak to escape capture.  

RTHA 17-3.001

The discoloration on her feet and legs are a sign of frostbite. She is missing the right halux talon and about half of the talon on the right second digit.


She is missing a large patch of feathers on the top of her head. We can only imagine how that happened. Her blood lead level was 8.3 micrograms/deciliter. That is not high enough to show symptoms of lead toxicity, but since there is no safe level of lead, she has received one course of chelation therapy. She has responded well to supportive care and is now very feisty.

RTHA 17-2 head

More Lead: RTHA 17-003

The first Red-tailed Hawk of 2017 was found near La Grande, Or with a broken wing. Bad weather closed Interstate 84 so it took three days to get the bird to Pendleton.  A radiograph showed fractures in the left metacarpals and lead fragments in her gut. Her blood lead level was 14.6 micrograms/deciliter. 

RTHA lead & fxs.001

Her rescuers had fed her mice. After a couple doses of fluids she cast a very large pellet (that broke into three pieces). Of course we had to radiograph the pellet pieces to see what we would find - some bones and lots of lead!

RTHA pellet 17-003 1

For a comparison, we radiographed two owl pellets and a hawk pellet from birds who had no lead in their blood. The dense particles (white) in the pellets below are bone fragments, not lead.

Owl & Hawk Pellets.001

Update on Great Horned Owl 16-923

The emaciated Great Horned Owl admitted on Dec. 30, 2016 seems to be defying the odds. She is still very thin, but gaining weight. She is anemic, but her body seems to be manufacturing red blood cells. She is no longer dehydrated and she is getting feistier by the day. I’m cautiously optimistic that she will recover from the emaciation.

Thank You BMW Family

BMW members and supporters always respond generously at the end of the year, but this year you have been especially generous. Thank you for helping BMW start 2017 on firm financial footing. Thank you also to the Autzen Foundation and the Eleanor Lloyd Dees Foundation who each awarded Blue Mountain Wildlife $2,500 grants. 

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Location: 71046 Appaloosa Lane, Pendleton, Oregon 97801
Email: lynn@bluemountainwildlife.org
Phone: 541.278.0215

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