Research

The Wildlife Care Center collects and maintains a huge repository of data on the problems affecting urban wildlife populations, based on the 3-4,000 animals we treat each year.

The Care Center also conducts its own internal research efforts and provides biological samples and statistical information to local, state and federal institutions that conduct wildlife research.

Ongoing Projects and Research

  • Long-billed Hawk Syndrome: In April 2006, an adult Red-tailed Hawk with a severely overgrown, rotten beak was brought to the Wildlife Care Center – our first known case of Long-billed Hawk Syndrome. Staff continue to collect information about the condition and have presented findings at wildlife conferences.
  • Banded Birds: The Wildlife Care Center occasionally receives banded birds. Leg bands allow scientists to track individual birds throughout their lives, a process that provides valuable information about birds’ migration, behavior and life spans.
  • Parasite Analysis: The care center runs fecals (parasite checks) on all hospitalized animals and then tracks results and response to therapy.
  • Lead and Injury Incidence in Raptors: X-rays are run on raptors to determine incidence of gunshot, heavy metal ingestion or other conditions diagnosed by x-ray. With funding from the Oregon Zoo, the care center also runs blood lead levelson all raptors, as well as Turkey Vultures and Ravens. The results are compared to clinical signs and radiographic evidence of metal exposure.
  • Window Strike Data: The care center compiles data of window-strike birds brought to our facility to augment field research.
  • Phone Call Database: Staff and volunteers are in the process of accumulating and analyzing phone call data to look for trends in wildlife conflicts and to determine where we are helping or not helping people live well with wildlife.
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Bird imprint left on a window after a collision.

Example Publications, Reports and Presentations

  • “Blood lead levels in avian scavengers: a comparison of urban and rural regions in the Pacific Northwest”
    Joe Liebezeit and Deb Sheaffer | Released April 2014
  • “Progressive Feather Dysplasia in a Juvenile Bald Eagle”
    Bethany Groves, DVM, Deborah Sheaffer, DVM, Kristina Raum, Robert E. Schmidt, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVP
    Presented at 2012 Association of Avian Veterinarian annual conference
  • “Case Reports: Poisoning Cases in an Urban Wildlife Rehabilitation Center”
    Deborah Sheaffer, DVM | Presented at 2012 ODFW Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference
  • “Long-billed Hawk Syndrome – A preliminary investigation”
    Rob Bildfell, Deb Sheaffer, Wilson Rumbeiha and Colin Gillin
    Presented at 2007 Wildlife Disease Society symposium
California Condor, photo by USFWS
  • “Preliminary Findings of Long-billed Hawk Syndrome in Oregon Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis)”
    Rob Bildfell, Wilson Rumbeiha, Deborah Sheaffer, and Colin Gillin
    Poster session presented at 2007 Association of Zoo Veterinarians annual conference
  • “Further Western Spread of Mycoplasma gallisepticum Infection of House Finches”
    David H. Ley, Deborah S. Sheaffer, and Andre´ A. Dhondt
    Journal of Wildlife Diseases
    , 42(2), 2006, pp. 429–431
  • Final Report on Peregrine Falcon Monitoring Activities at the Fremont, Saint Johns, Interstate and Abernathy Bridges
    Bob Sallinger | Audubon Society of Portland, September 2001