Thursday, August 17, 2006

healthy hawks heal fast

The blood doesn't look as wet as before. We did some vertical jumps today and he's using the wing a lot more. I'm feeling a lot better. Until I found the blood, it was possible that he'd sprained something. (If there was a break I doubt he could control the wing and tuck it up.)

A few other falconers I know have come to the consensus that flying during the molt promotes feather regrowth. I think the vertical jumps will help, as long as I don't overdo it; 30-50 is probably enough to get the wing moving and help circulation, which will promote healing. (A normal vertical-jump regimen is 100-125.) Some non-hunting flying will do good too.

It's surprising how fast hawks build muscle and recover when they're healthy. (When seriously sick, they are very delicate and can succumb with a dirty look, especially the smaller ones.) P looked like he was hurting bad on Sunday; Thursday he is nearly normal, and I imagine by Sunday he'll be fine.

There does seem to be a primary missing, though. The injured feather appears to be P3, not P2 as I thought. I can see the tip coming out; right now it's the same length as the coverts, so a little hard to tell. This molt has been pretty slow - possibly because I didn't fly him at all during.

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