Swallow-tailed Kite Ubers to the Hospital

provided by Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife

Every day at a wildlife hospital brings something new. In many cases of injured and orphaned wildlife, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) receives a call about the animal first. The trained staff is then able to ask questions and help direct the person calling how they can best help the animal.

In some cases, the finder is able to drive the animal directly to the wildlife hospital on Sanibel or when needed, a volunteer can come out to assist in the rescue and transport of the animal. Since nearly 80 percent of the wildlife patients come from off the islands, CROW also partners with local veterinary clinics throughout the county to serve as drop-off locations.

On May 25, one of these drop-off locations went above and beyond to help an animal. A finder arrived to the Animal Medical Center of Lehigh Acres with an injured swallow-tailed kite late in the afternoon. The caring staff immediately recognized that the bird needed immediate help and could not wait until a CROW volunteer was able to pick it up the following morning. Since no one was able to drive the bird out to Sanibel, they pitched in and ordered it an Uber.

An little over an hour later, the bird arrived at CROW. Veterinarians examined the bird and found it to be underweight. There was severe swelling around its left eye along with irritation of the eye and blood in its mouth. The physical signs pointed to the bird suffering some type of head trauma such as being hit by a car.


the deeply forked tail helps to perform aerial acrobatics while hunting (you can thank them for eating wasps & fire ants 🔥 🐜) #wildlife #raptor #fy

♬ Buttercup – Jack Stauber

“For head trauma in birds, we treat them with supportive care,” says Dr. Sasha Troiano, a veterinary intern at CROW. “This includes anti-inflammatory medication and fluid therapy to reduce swelling, cage rest and plenty of food to ensure they get the nutrition they need.”

After a few days, the swelling receded and the kite perked up. It began perching and eating everything it was offered. The bird was flight tested in an outdoor enclosure to ensure it had full vision in the affected eye. After passing the test to the satisfaction of veterinarians it was cleared for release.

On May 31, a CROW volunteer transported the kite back to Lehigh Acres. Thanks to the quick action of the finder, staff at the Animal Medical Center of Lehigh Acres and the Uber driver, the kite was able to be rehabilitated and was released back to the skies on May 31!


fun fact: this patient arrived to the clinic via @uber 🚖 #wildlife #raptor #rescue #release #kite #foryou

♬ A-O-K – Tai Verdes

THIS WEEK AT CROW (5/31-6/6):
There were 162 new patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital including 23 eastern cottontails, 22 Virginia opossums, 14 common grackles, 11 northern mockingbirds, 10 mourning doves, eight blue jays, five burrowing owls and two nine-banded armadillos. Recent Releases include two gopher tortoises, two mourning doves, a nine-banded armadillo, a ruddy turnstone, and a eastern box turtle. Check out a full list of CROW’s current patients and recent releases!

Wildlife doesn’t have health insurance! Your donations help cover the costs of medical and rehabilitative care for over 5,000 patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital each year!

Want to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation? Stop by CROW’s Visitor Education Center at 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road.

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