Cedar Waxwing

PATIENT:  Cedar Waxwing, #10-1658 LOCATION:  Batesville, Virginia INJURYCat attack ADMISSION DATE:  July 28 PROGNOSIS:  Candidate for release fall 2010 Upon admission, the Cedar Waxwing was examined by Center veterinarians.  The bird was bruised, had a puncture wound on the left side of its body [behind the wing], a large wound on the right thigh ... and was missing tail feathers. Center staff cleaned the wounds and treated the bird with fluids and anti-inflammatories.  Because of the risk of infection from the cat bites, the waxwing also was treated with antibiotics.  For the next few days, the wounds were cleaned daily and treated with Dermisol and Tegaderm.  On August 2, Dr. Kelly Flaminio operated on the waxwing, removing infected and dead tissue from the large wound and suturing it closed. The sutures were removed a week later.  The wound was healing well, and the waxwing was moved to one of the Center's outdoor aviary enclosures in mid-August.  The waxwing will remain at the Center until the wound is completely healed and its tail feathers have re-grown. If the waxwing is cleared for release, the Center's rehabilitation staff will look for the best site for a release.  Cedar Waxwings are social birds -- gathering in large flocks, particularly in fall and winter; identifying a release site that is frequented by other waxwings will be key.   Cedar Waxwings may be found year-round in Virginia. Cedar Waxwings are primarily frugivores -- they feed mainly on fruits year-round.  In summer, waxwings eat a variety of small fruits and berries and supplement their diets with insects, often caught on the wing.  In winter, a major food source is cedar berries [hence the species name]; other winter foods include mistletoe, juniper, mountain ash, crabapple, hawthorn, and Russian olive fruits.   At the Wildlife Center, Patient #10-1658's diet includes blueberries and raspberries.  The waxwing seems particularly partial to champagne grapes.  [The Center gratefully acknowledges the fruits, vegetables, and other produce donated each week by Kroger in Waynesboro and Whole Foods Market in Charlottesville]. Cedar Waxwings are somewhat unusual patients at the Wildlife Center.  During 2008 we treated seven, in 2009, a total of 10. In contrast, patients that have been attacked by cats are all-too-common at the Center.  During 2009, for examplke, 222 animals -- or about one in every 12 patients -- came to the Center after an attack by a free-roaming cat.  Birds and other animals that survive an initial attack are still in danger -- unless treated, infections from the toxic bacteria found in a cat's mouth kill a significant number of animals. On average, indoor cats live longer, healthier lives.  Free-roaming cats are at a greater risk of injury, disease, parastites, getting hit by cars, or becoming lost, stolen, or poisoned.  Tips on keeping a cat indoors At the Wildlife Center, we treat to release.  Your donation will help support the Center’s life-saving work with about 2,500 wild animals in need.