Hope the Trumpeter Swan continues to improve. She continues to have physical therapy 2 times a week. For these she must be transported to the vet clinic, where she must have anesthesia for me to work her wing through all its range of motions and work out adhesions that have developed from the injury and lack of use.
Without anesthesia, this treatment would be too painful for her and her resistance would impair progress, so for now she must take her trips. She is a fairly good sport about it and is used to the activity. Her medications are reduced now, so I only have to give her meds 2x a day and she is now not giving me as much fuss with those either.
She got a new outside pool a couple of weeks ago, and we are experimenting with her going out there on sunny days. We have to balance the stress of us catching her and taking her to the pool vs her needing to be completely off her feet and keel. We shall see. It is cold now at night the water is pretty cold for her too. Today she is getting a larger new pool in her room too.
You can see the how far we have come in this side to side comparison of her good wing and the injured. I believe that she will continue to improve in her mobility and range of motion.
We cannot know yet if she will fly. She has another 2 weeks before the pin and plate can be removed from the wing. We will have a better idea at that point.
Wish her well, and if you want to support her please consider donating for her pools and medications.
Hope started her physical therapy Nov 2nd. She goes to Dr. Lodge at Broken Top Vet in Sisters. All of the team there is very supportive and do all they can for this gracious bird. Hope has to be anesthetized for pt given the pain it causes and the stress. We are working to reducing the time under she must endure in order to make the appts quick and easy for her.
During physical therapy, Hope gets range of motion passive movements applied, that stretch her tissues, such as the patagium and the muscles. Our goal is for her to fly again, so this element of rehabilitation is imperative. Without pt her muscles and other tissues would be too bound for her to fully stretch the wing out for flight. We do not know yet how successful pt will be, it may be she cannot regain that mobility, but we work towards that goal regardless. She has several more weeks in rehab.
We switched her up to a 6 foot pool this week, and she is liking that a lot. She really wants to bathe, but full immersion in water is still some days away. In the meantime, I give her a good spritzing with water so she can preen her back well. And she does a good job on her own.
She finally discovered the wonderful deliciousness of Mazuri waterfowl food, her high grade food that I have been eager for her to start eating (so I can stop tube feeding her!). She is now gobbling that up, along with the native vegetation our guy from Summer Lake Wildlife Refuge gets her (thanks Marti!).
She has in her room, 2 swan sized beds, one is 6 inches of foam and the other about 5 inches of blankets. These help take the pressure off of her keel when she rests at night. This is important, as a wound along her sharp edged keel can form from her having her weight on her chest for long periods. This is a key reason to get waterbeds onto some water floating as soon as possible and the injury allows.
Today will be her 3rd pt appt. Wish us well and enjoy these pictures. I am happy to answer questions. And of course we can always use donations. Especially for her new pool!
Hope was shot near Summer Lake. She has a broken wing and had 4 hours of orthopedic surgery last Tues (25th). She now has 6 weeks of rehabilitation and recovery ahead of her. Care of Hope and her rehabilitation will involve physical therapy a couple times a week, bandage changes, medications twice a day, a diversity of food, and specialized housing that protects her keel, feet, and the waterproofing of her plumage.
Hope is a Trumpeter Swan, which were on the endangered species list for decades. Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife has worked for 20 years to get Trumpeters nesting and breeding again here in Oregon. Hope is the first bird born in Summer Lake to have been from a completely wild pair of birds. Her injury is particularly tragic for this reason. And ODFW, Native Bird Care, and her Drs are doing all they possibly can to save Hope.
Her primary doctor is Dr. Cassie Lodge of Broken Top Vet. Elise has a lot of waterbird training, but for specific swan information she goes to Renee Schott, a swan specialist at Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of MN. The orthopedic surgeon and team at Oregon Veterinary Referral Associates in Springfield, OR took Hope on for her surgery. Without all these folks help, Hope would have had, well no hope.
The hardest part of waterbird rehabilitation is preventing captivity related injuries that come from not swimming, sitting, and atrophy. This is particularly true for very large, heavy birds that spend most of their time on the water. These injuries can include skin sores on the bird's chest, sores on the bottom of the feet, and loss of waterproofing from not preening. Water is key.
At some point, we aim to get Hope a pool so that she can actually swim and get off her feet. We do this for loons and grebes now.
Enjoy these pictures and I will blog on Hope again soon.
The little - specifically 10 gram! - yellow warbler was released yesterday. Above is a picture a day or two before in the aviary. There was some question on whether she was a yellow or orange-crowned. These pictures may resolve that, specially the rear one. She mooned me.
Its so difficult to take photos once they are in the aviary...just so high strung and no, they won't sit for me, not this sized bird.
She is a good example of a window strike. Another I got in just after her was not so lucky. These little birds can get going amazingly fast, and when the hit a window if they don't hit their head, they take the strike with the shoulder or full body. Clavicle and coracoid injuries result.
Its best to not handle a bird much with this kind of injury. Something has to be done to keep the bird's wing in correct placement for healing...best done by someone with skill and small hands. Its easy to make this injury worse and cause the bird to be unreleasable (a death sentence).
A flight cage is so important. This bird once out of her wrap, had difficulty gaining loft and navigating. She went from a large indoor netted enclosure, to the 12' x 16' aviary - quite large for her tiny size. It took her 3 full days of full on flight to gain her strength, endurance, and stamina back. She would not have been releasable without this physical therapy. She spent a full week in the aviary.
She was released yesterday, and we wish her well. Just in time to migrate to Mexico. Have a safe trip!
A type of warbler, am not sure what kind. IF you know, please comment or share an email with me.
And yes, it was excruciatingly difficult to wrap this little girl's wing and body in tiny vet wrap (specially since my assistant's hands are not small, luckily mine are). Took me much practice over the years to be able to do this...geesh.
Its not hard to put too much tension on this kind of wrap for this size bird and impact their breathing. Air sacs on birds are all over and just under the skin. Have to make sure the medical care we give doesn't cause more harm.
This tiny one is doing just fine.
Injury is to the coracoid from hitting a window. She has some neurological issues, but is working through those fast. In a couple days, the wrap will come off and we will test flight. After that, she will have some flight time (exercise and PT) in the aviary, to get her strength and flexibility back.
Then its off to South America.
Grebe Acres is NOW Native
Author: Elise Wolf
I have been enraptured and fascinated by wild birds my whole life. I finally got involved in avian rescue when it became clear that while we need to do all we can to save habitat and ecological systems, for many populations of birds, every single bird matters. And thus, saving them one at a time is increasingly important.