Patient Profiles: Bumble

Bumble with bandaged feet. Photograph by Suzanne Shoemaker

“Bumble”, an adult red-tailed hawk, was found on the ground at Dickerson Power Plant in Dickerson, MD on July 27, 2010.  She had severe chronic infections in both feet (called “bumblefoot”), and all her tail feathers were broken. She couldn’t fly or hunt and was severely emaciated and dehydrated.  Though these problems can occur in the wild as a consequence of squirrel bites, they can also result from inappropriate perches, caging, and poor husbandry in captivity.  It is possible that Bumble had recently escaped or been released from such an environment. Weeks of nursing care were required to clear the infections in her feet, and she needed to complete a molt to replace her tail feathers. Her muscles were reconditioned for flight by increasingly frequent and long flight exercise sessions over several weeks using a creance line. She returned to the wild on March 2011.

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One thought on “Patient Profiles: Bumble

  1. Joseph Villarrubia says:

    I remember Bumble. Gosh it’s been a while since I’ve gotten out there. Believe me I am constantly trying to find time to get out there I just have so many pressing things to do. I love these birds though. I promise I’ll be back. I never new Bumble’s whole story. Only that she had received some sort of injury which gave her bumblefoot and compromised her ability to fly. I seem to remember there was some worry as to her health when she didn’t fly too well the first time. Something about lung mold. Thanks be to God she was only out of shape.

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