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.
Native Bird Care is small. But the work we do is critical. The needs of the birds we work with - song, shore, and waterbirds - are often underestimated. Each species is so unique that we must cater to each type of bird and their particular needs in care and housing. Add to that, handling these birds can be tricky; they all require specialized training.