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1 December 2008 Successful Rehabilitation of a Severely Injured Peregrine Falcon
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An 11-year-old male peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), known to have been a successful breeder in the wild with 31 offspring in 9 breeding seasons, was presented for evaluation of wing and leg injuries and for the purpose of rehabilitation. Four 13-day-old young were present in the nest at the time of injury. Aside from superficial trauma to the left leg and wing, a dorso-cranially luxated left coxofemoral joint and a severely fragmented (7–8 fragments) left ulna were seen radiographically. The coxofemoral luxation was manually reduced and held in position by slinging the left leg, bandaged in flexion, to the body for 14 days. After removal of the sling and leg bandage, the falcon regained full use of the moderately contracted left leg within 2 days. The left wing was immobilized with a figure-of-8 bandage. The ulnar fragments were held in alignment by the intact left radius, which served as an internal biologic splint. To promote rapid healing with reestablishment of full biomechanical strength and normal function, the wing fracture was treated according to the concepts of biological fracture healing without surgical intervention. Complete healing of the ulna was achieved within 25 days. For strengthening of the wing and to assure prey capture capability, the falcon was reconditioned in a large flight chamber under the supervision of a licensed falconer. He was released into his home territory 4 months after his accident and continued his productive life for another 2 breeding seasons, in which 5 additional young were produced.

Erik Stauber, Julia A. Mulholland, Edward W. Levine, Yasuko Suzuki, and John Hall "Successful Rehabilitation of a Severely Injured Peregrine Falcon," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 22(4), 346-350, (1 December 2008).
Published: 1 December 2008