I understand that you have been in touch with our veterinarians, and they shared the sad news about the purple gallinule. As promised, I wanted to send you a more formal statement on the bird’s injuries and treatment at Tufts Wildlife Clinic. Do you mind letting me know where you plan to post/distribute?
It’s always so difficult in these situations, but please know we greatly appreciate the support of the community and their compassion toward the wildlife they encounter. Please let me know if there is anything else you need from us.
/On Tuesday, October 22, an injured juvenile purple gallinule was admitted to Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University in North Grafton. The purple gallinule is a medium-sized marsh bird usually found in the southeastern U.S. Purple gallinules are a rare sight, appearing in Massachusetts every few years. The most recent documented sightings of this bird species were on Nantucket in May 2017 and in the Westborough area in Fall 2015./
/This juvenile bird was first seen and reported by birders in Milton, MA, on Sunday, October 20. On Tuesday, when the bird appeared unable to move, a concerned private citizen captured it and brought it to Tufts Wildlife Clinic. Veterinarians found the bird alert, but thin. Preliminary examination revealed a keel fracture and mobility problems in both legs, likely caused by collision with a motor vehicle. After stabilizing the bird with pain medication and supportive care, further diagnostic radiographs (x-rays) were taken on Wednesday, October 23. Unfortunately the images revealed multiple keel fractures, a wing fracture and bilateral dislocated hips. Sadly these injuries would not be repairable or allow the bird to regain full mobility or flight. While the Clinic’s primary goal is always to treat and release its patients back into the wild, due to the severity of the injuries, the difficult but humane decision to euthanize the bird was made./
Associate Director of Media Relations
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University