Thursday, July 03, 2008


Hous Report for 7/2/08 and all photographs from Nabil E.,

Here is the overview that Nabil sent me initially about his sighting of Hous today. Nabil was there and it was even hard for him to tell exactly what Hous's condition was. Particularly as Hous hasn't always been a hawk to stay within the boundaries of usual young hawk behavior and at the finale he did end up taking to his wings.

Nabel's initial overview--
When I first got there the construction workers pointed out the Hawk who was standing on the ground on a small heap of dirt. He looked ok but sleepy at this point and would close his eyes frequently. He let passers-by get within a few feet of him without him even taking notice of them. He later went to the ground where there was a small puddle of water and laid down flat for a long time, barley keeping his head up (his head was for long intervals was just resting on the ground). I had seen the 888 baby from last year lay down on the grass but in that case the hawk kept his up head and was completely alert. This one seemed very lethargic. He stayed like this for more than 45 minutes. By the time park workers showed up he had just taken off and perched on a low fence but flew away before the park workers could get a look at him. I did not find him after that and had to leave.

But Nadil had taken photos and one can zoom in on a photo in a way that one can't usually on a living hawk. Once they began looking at the pictures they became even more concerned.

Here is Nadil's commentary to go with the photos--(Above is Photo 1)

Here are some of the photos from today.

Photo 1 is how I found him (construction workers pointed him out) when I got there. Nothing seemed strange at this point except that he did let passers-by get quite close without even looking at them. However I have seen previous young hawks be too oblivious to humans so I was not worried at this time.

(Nothing one would ever see while in the field most likely, but see where his mucus membrane seems slightly distorted on the mid back half of his beak. Could that be a yellowish frounce lesion with a slip of mud over it? D. B.)

He went to this little puddle of water to drink (a couple of sips only).

Here is where I started thinking maybe something is wrong. He laid down, first as you can see in this photo his head was still up. Not so strange yet as I had seen the 888 hawk from last year on a hot day lay down on the grass in CP like this (although today was not really that hot).

Soon after his head went down and he seemed as if he had no energy. A few young kids got real close to him (maybe 5-6 feet and he did not flinch or look up at them). He stayed in this position (sometimes half opening his eyes) but never raising his head for around 30-45 minutes.
(Look how he seems to have dried matter beneath his eye. D. B.)

He got up and perched on this bar inside the pool area. Soon after park workers arrived and he flew away before they could take a look at him.

After having the luxury of looking at Nadil's photos we can see that Hous's crop is completely flat and his feathers disheveled. He is usually extremely vocal in the begging department but not today. He doesn't seem to have begged in all the time Nadil watched and with a crop so empty it's practically inverted plus his behavior lying in the mud puddle, it's telling. Something is very wrong.

Nadil is going in early Thursday in an attempt to see if Hous shows up for breakfast or whether he eats if he does. He says he'll call me with an update. If Hous doesn't show for the morning meal and can't be found. We need to start a concerted search for him.
It's a good sign he wasn't completely grounded today but by the looks of him he badly needs a trip to AMC and the Horvaths. And with frounce, once it is active, a bird doesn't have much time before it is too late.
To get to Astoria Park, take the N or W trains to the next to last stop--Astoria Plaza. Look around for the Triborough Bridge. Walk towards it. There are many trees on the right hand side. That is the Park where Hous will be if he hasn't been found yet.
Unfortunately many sick birds hide themselves on the ground under bushes or other cover and then either die without being found or are not found in time.
I'll update the blog as to Hous's status and as to whether he's been found when I hear from Nadil after hawk breakfast. I'll let you know.
Give some thought to becoming part of the search party if Hous needs it.
Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

Given the poor prognosis for this if a bird can't be caught soon enough, is it actually a bad idea to vaccinate fledglings against this before release from rehab or during banding?

If a bird survives frounce, do they have immunity after that?