Manual restraint in birds of prey is required for many veterinary and research procedures. To investigate the effects of handling stress on physiologic parameters in raptorial birds, 8 red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) were manually restrained over a 15-minute period. Respiratory rate (RR), heart rate (HR), and cloacal temperature were monitored over time and recorded at defined intervals during the experiment. The effect of hooding on physiologic variables was also evaluated in a complete crossover design. Both RR and HR decreased significantly during the 15-minute restraint period (HR, −80 ± 101.4 beats/min [bpm], [P < .01]; RR, −17.5 ± 22.6 breaths/min, [P < .05]). Hooded birds had significantly lower HRs and RRs at 15 minutes of restraint (HR: 232.5 ± 26 bpm, [P < .037]; RR: 33.1 ± 6.7 breaths/min, [P < .05]) compared to birds restrained without a hood (HR: 280 ± 74.1 bpm; RR: 51.5 ± 28.8 breaths/min). Cloacal temperature increased significantly in all manually restrained birds ( 2.2 ± 0.7°C, [P < .01]), with a comparable increase in hooded and nonhooded birds. In this study of the effects of manual restraint on red-tailed hawks, hooding versus nonhooding amplified the decrease in HR and RR but had no effect on stress-induced hyperthermia.
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