Peregrine Falcon #17-1231

Admission Date: 
May 31, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Richmond, Virginia
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Failure to thrive
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

On the evening of May 31, one of the Richmond Peregrine Falcon chicks -- from atop the Riverfront Plaza Building in downtown Richmond -- was admitted to the Wildlife Center. According to the Richmond Falcon Cam website, the smallest of the three chicks, which hatched on May 18, did not seem to be doing as well as the others. VDGIF biologists decided to remove the falcon chick from the nest; it made a quick stop at a local veterinary clinic before it was transported to the Wildlife Center that same day.

Dr. Peach, one of the Center's veterinarians, examined the chick when it arrived. Upon arrival, the chick was bright, vocalizing, and exhibiting normal nestling behavior. The chick was a little thin, but was hydrated and weighed in at 242 grams. Dr. Peach hand-fed the chick a diet of quail meat, which the young bird ate readily.

The team will continue to assess the small falcon today and will consult with VDGIF biologists to determine a long-term plan.

Wildlife Center fans will recognize that this little Peregrine Falcon is a half-sibling to the Center's education falcon, Maggie.

Your donation helps to provide care for this special little falcon, as well as the 2,500 animals that are admitted to the Center annually.




June 5, 2017

In the days following its admission, Peregrine Falcon chick #17-1231 was eating well, though was not gaining weight. The rehabilitation staff offered multiple meals a day, and had carefully calculated how much food a growing falcon needed. On Sunday, the tiny falcon ate well in the morning, but regurgitated most of its mid-day meal. Dr. Ernesto examined the chick and found food and fluid in the bird's airway; he carefully cleaned the bird's glottis and trachea and started the bird on fluids and antibiotics. Within an hour, the falcon died.

The veterinary team isn't sure why the bird regurgitated, just as it wasn't clear to the staff and the VDGIF biologists why the falcon chick was doing poorly in the Richmond nest.

June 2, 2017

Since arriving at the Center, Peregrine Falcon #17-1231 appears to be behaving normally and is eating well. Additional information from Falcon Cam observations indicate that, earlier this week, while the falcon was still in its Richmond nest, the young bird was possibly exhibiting neurologic symptoms; the bird flipped over on its back and was unable to right itself a couple of times.

So far, no abnormal neurologic signs have been seen at the Center. Dr. Ernesto says that the young falcon is behaving normally for a baby bird this age. However, the falcon is at an age where imprinting on humans is still a risk, so the staff placed the bird's crate in a quiet area to minimize exposure to people.

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