On September 27, an adult Broad-winged Hawk was found on the ground, unable to fly, near Beaver Creek Reservoir in Albemarle County. The hawk was transported to the Wildlife Center by outreach department volunteer Pam, shortly after the hawk was discovered.
Hawk #16-2175 was perching in its crate prior to the initial assessment and appeared bright and alert. A physical exam revealed retinal tears in both eyes, swelling on the left wing, and a wound on the right leg.
Radiographs showed a left metacarpal fracture near the wrist; because the fracture is close to the joint, surgical repair is not an option and the vet team will treat the injury conservatively. The wing was splinted and wrapped in the bandage to stabilize the fracture and assist with healing.
Anatomy of an avian wing (metacarpal bone in green) Broad-winged Hawk radiographs.
Vet staff will repeat radiographs on October 4 to assess how the fracture is healing. If the bird is healing well, the staff will begin laser therapy and physical therapy.
Broad-winged Hawks migrate from and through Virginia during later summer and early fall. By the end of October, migration is complete, and Broad-winged Hawk patients cannot be released. Because this patient will require care beyond the migration period, hawk #16-2175 will overwinter at the Wildlife Center.