TULSA, Okla. (Dec. 11, 2018) – An injured juvenile red-tailed hawk brought in Friday, Dec. 7, by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office is responding to treatment and will remain under close supervision at the Tulsa Zoo’s veterinary hospital.
Witnesses reported the bird had flown into a window and suffered a head injury. A full exam with X-rays of the hawk confirmed that the bird had not fractured any bones nor damaged its large sensitive eyes.
Supportive care for blunt force trauma was started to allow recovery time while assessing the severity of the red-tailed hawk’s head injury. Treatment at the Tulsa Zoo’s veterinary hospital included supportive fluids and anti-inflammatories for tissue trauma.
The Tulsa Zoo’s veterinary staff were pleased that the bird quickly accepted food, reacted with normal ability to see and showed no signs of brain trauma. “We have seen countless birds injured by flying into window glass. This red-tail hawk is extremely lucky to be doing so well as most do not survive,” said Dr. Jennifer Kilburn, associate veterinarian of the Tulsa Zoo.
The hawk will be assessed for its ability to fly normally before being deemed suitable for release.
About red-tailed hawks
Red-tailed hawks are one of the most common native birds of prey in Oklahoma. They are important predators of rodents, reptiles and even other smaller birds. As daytime visual hunters, they have excellent eyesight that helps them see small prey from great distances. They are adaptable predators and can be seen in country and urban places. Though red-tailed hawks are not endangered, they are protected under both state and federal law.
About window strikes
Accidentally flying into buildings’ windows is one of the most significant causes of death for our native bird species. The windows reflect the trees and sky around them so the birds do not see the obstacles. Visit American Bird Conservancy, or other websites, for ideas on preventing bird window strikes.
You can see an example of bird protective window decals in the form of a bamboo motif on the windows at the Tulsa Zoo’s Lost Kingdom Helmerich Tiger Exhibit.