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.