Saturday September 18th 2010
I mentioned a month or so ago that we we had a wild Buzzard which I picked up in the Breeding Ground one morning. It was weak and thin. It had, what turned out to be a deep seated Bumblefoot infection. The bird has had extensive treatment, but hadn’t improved. Consequently, the bird was euthanased this morning. Despite our best efforts, we can’t win them all. This individual’s quality of life was severely affected. He, (I think it was a ‘he’), wasn’t able to perch due to the pain in his foot, never mind use it for catching prey. It is quite possible that he sustained an injury while catching prey like squirrels, which are very much part of a Buzzard’s menu. Even Red Tailed Buzzards, Buteo jamaicensis, which are larger and more powerful than our own Buzzards can sustain nasty injuries from squirrel bites. These injuries have been documented by American rehabilitators as causing chronic Bumblefoot in these powerful raptors. I don’t think this is a far fetched explanation for our particular individual.
On the bright side, you might remember ‘Riffraff’, the scalped Buzzard we received earlier in the year. After a further visit to the vet, this individual is making very good progress. It might always be folically challenged, but physically it is a fine specimen. Riffraff is currently residing at the vet’s and will be released from there within the next week. This is a good time of year, as all this season’s juveniles are now dispersing, while established breeding pairs are relaxing their territoriality. This should allow Riffraff a ‘window of opportunity’ to get re-established. Fingers crossed.
I will leave you with a picture of Riffraff* and a couple of pictures of the Bill and Bob gig, which were taken by my father Dr. D.C. Ingham.
* Wulf sends his apologies as he is unable to locate the pictures of Riffraff.
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