Date: 1/31/19 11:44 am From: Mike Warner via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: [CT Birds] Great Black Hawk Going Forward
I can't just shake my head and walk away from the passing of the Great Black Hawk. This Southern bird, wholly unexpected in a Northern climate, delighted the many birders who
chased it in Portland Maine. This bird is now dead and I am thinking this was preventable. Please read Arthur Shippee's letter (below) to this list on Saturday and the contents of the link provided in his letter. The circulatory differences between Northern birds and Southern birds is provable! Now, more often, we see letters where there is an increased possibility of Southern birds visiting to the North and much removed from their usual climate. We now know, they do not fare well when staying in Northern locations like Portland Maine.
Is it possible for the State agencies and local rehabbers (thank you once more for the work you do) to at least begin preliminary talks about proactive rescue attempts where Southern birds are in danger in Northern climates when the temperatures begin their seasonal dropping? Or were the Great Black Hawk and the Hermit Warbler "just another bird"?
Thank you Arthur.
Date: 1/29/19 7:43 pm From: Arthur Shippee via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Portland Great Black Hawk
From Avian Haven, ME: Great Black Hawk - update 1/29
We are extremely sad to report that the hawk's feet have deteriorated markedly in the last 24 hours. It now appears that at least two toes on each foot will most likely be lost, and we are concerned that the overall viability of both feet has been compromised. We will be doing further diagnostics tomorrow.
Some of you have asked why this individual was susceptible to frostbite, when our northern hawks seem to do fine in cold weather. This essay <http://askanaturalist.com/why-don%E2%80%99t-ducks%E2%80%99-feet-freeze/> http://askanaturalist.com/why-don%E2%80%99t-ducks%E2%80%99-feet-freeze/ describes the "rete mirabile" or "retia" (basically, a net-like heat exchange mechanism between the arteries and veins) in birds' legs. Perhaps the key sentence is "birds that live in cold weather habitats tend to have more elaborate retia." It seems logical that a species native to a warm climate would not have the kind of mechanism needed for legs and feet protection from extreme cold. Also, the very long legs of this hawk might have made it difficult to tuck a leg completely under the body plumage to protect it from the cold.
With regard to suggestions of prosthetics: At least in theory, one prosthetic foot could serve as a sort of crutch for a remaining natural foot that was fully functional but in this case, both feet are affected.
Thank you all so much for your prayers, good wishes, love and support for this beautiful bird.
Sent from my iPad
> On Jan 29, 2019, at 7:53 PM, Susanne Shrader via CTBirds <ctbirds...> wrote: > > Kathy, thank you for the update. Some of us eschew Facebook, though. Please someone put a couple lines in when there are developments. > > > Susanne Shrader