Monday LWR received a red-tailed hawk via a volunteer transporter. This hawk had been taken in by a mammal rehabber in another county, who is NOT federally licensed for birds and has NO clue what she’s doing with them and who has been reported to DNR several times for taking and keeping federally protected birds without the proper permits. She then took this bird to a vet in that county who, while also a licensed rehabber, is also NOT licensed for or competent to deal with birds. She has a documented history of incompetence with raptors, in fact.
In the case of the red tail LWR eventually received, this incompetent vet, with NO x-rays or proper physical exam, told the mammal rehabber that the bird was “fine” and all she needed to do was “fatten it up” and let it go. Mammal rehabber decided, after the bird wouldn’t fly for her, that it needed to be in a flight pen first, but did she contact one of THREE licensed raptor rehabbers near her? Nope; that would mean admitting she’d had the bird illegally for nearly two weeks.
Instead, this poor bird spent almost a week with yet another mammal rehabber in another county, who is also not federally licensed and has openly bragged in the past that she’s not going to “get in trouble” for taking MBTA-protected birds and outright lied to a member of the public last year, telling them she had “all the permits” so she could take an injured raptor from them. This was reported as well, and where that poor bird ended up is anybody’s guess. Probably with the incompetent vet for non-treatment until it died. The current bird was sent by Mammal Rehabber 1 to Mammal Rehabber 2 because Mammal Rehabber 2 has a flight pen—now, I ask you, if you are NOT licensed for birds, why do you need a flight pen???
So all told, this particular hawk spent THREE WEEKS circulating among non-federally licensed individuals who knew they were in violation of both state and federal law AND incompetent to deal with the red tail but put boosting their own petty egos over the welfare of the bird.
Upon taking the hawk to my vets within 90 minutes of intake, x-rays revealed fractures of the radius and ulna in the left wing. These fractures would have been cause for euthanasia three weeks earlier had the bird been in competent hands then. As it is, these three incompetents played “pass the raptor” for three weeks while he suffered from the pain of those fractures and then, when they tired of “playing raptor rehabber”, he was sent to LWR to end his suffering. And the illegal activities of these people who should know better were immediately reported to the state and feds.
This incident was also reported to the state and feds. The problem, however, is that without an actual eyewitness to the shooting, the chance of prosecution is nonexistent.
And putting aside all attempts at professionalism, let me tell you right now that there’s a very special level of hell reserved for cretins like the one(s) who shot this owl—during great horned nesting season, no less, so yeah, there’s another nest of babies who likely won’t make it.
Normally I’d hop on a soapbox and rant a little more about these situations, but honestly, I’m still too infuriated to do more than spew profanity, and I try to keep this site family-friendly. So the bare-bones details will have to do.
Thankfully, there is good news from last week: the squirrels continue to develop nicely, and the female’s lower incisors came in so she is indeed about 10 days older than the male.
If you’ve not participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count yet, you still have today and tomorrow. Details are at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/.
And just a final note: next week’s update will be posted late Monday, Feb. 22.