Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hit-By-Car American Kestrel

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An adult, male American Kestrel presented to the Tucson Wildlife Center (TWC) shortly after being hit by a car. The kestrel was hunting near Wentworth and Speedway area when he was found near the side of the road and stunned. When he arrived at TWC he was barely responsive and disoriented and couldn't use his feet!  He was in a state of shock and we were very concerned with him possibly having neurologic trauma (injury to his brain and spinal cord). 

He was a well-muscled bird and had no signs of fractures or other external injuries on physical examination.  Fluids were administered immediately and he was transferred to a dark, warm incubator with oxygen supplementation.

Oxygen supplemented incubator

The next day, the Kestrel was brighter in his cage and able to walk.  Radiographs (x-rays) were performed and were normal.  Pain medication was given along with additional fluids (to keep him well hydrated).  He also was very interested in food (always a good sign)!

As time continued, the Kestrel continued to show signs of improvement and was introduced to an outdoor enclosure to let him spread his wings.  He was also introduced to a female American Kestrel (who had broken her wing a few weeks previous and was still on the mend).  As an interesting side-note, American Kestrels are sexually dimorphic, meaning that the males and females look different from each other!  The male started flying well on his own and within a few weeks was able to be released  back into the wild.  The female was also released at the same site since her fractured wing healed and had gotten along so well with the male.

Male (front) and Female (back) American Kestrel

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