The hawk had been found tangled in a power line in Vancouver, Wash., and was then brought to the Audubon Society of Portland by Clarke County Public Utility District workers. Electrical companies are still working to make power lines safe for wildlife – this bird became tangled in a line that hadn’t yet been retrofitted.
After three months of treatment at the Wildlife Care Center, the hawk is starting to show signs of improvement, but its prognosis is still guarded. Staff veterinarian Deb Sheaffer was able to cover part of the bird’s burn with a skin graft – she pulled healthy skin down from the hawk’s upper leg – but skin has to naturally knit together over the remainder of the wound, a lengthy process.
In the meantime, care center staff and volunteers clean the burn and change its dressing every day; the hawk also receives regular doses of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. We’re still a long way from knowing whether or not the bird will be able to make a full recovery.
Every year the Wildlife Care Center treats 3,000 injured or orphaned native animals. If you would like to make a donation to support our wildlife rehabilitation work at the Wildlife Care Center, click here.