On October 26, an immature Red-tailed Hawk was spotted on a street in downtown Richmond. Richmond Animal Care and Control officers responded to the scene, as did a Wildlife Center volunteer transporter. The hawk was successfully captured and brought to the Wildlife Center that same day.
The hawk was admitted as patient #13-2557 and received a physical examination from Dr. Kristin Britton, the Center’s veterinary intern. Dr. Kristin found that the hawk had small hemorrhages in both eyes, as well as injuries to the vitreous – the thick, transparent substance that fills the center of the eye. No fractures were found on physical exam.
Dr. Kristin anesthetized the hawk to take radiographs and found that the hawk had air in its body cavity, which is likely due to a ruptured air sac. All injuries suggest that the hawk suffered some sort of impact trauma in downtown Richmond.
The hawk received fluids, anti-inflammatories, and eye medication before it was placed in a crate in the Center’s holding room. Dr. Kristin anticipates that after several days of medications and cage rest, the hawk will be moved outside to a flight pen for flight-testing.