Tuesday, August 12, 2008

now I'm worried

He started wheezing today. I don't want to think he has asper but he's an accipiter -- he easily might.

On the weekend I'd joked to K1 that the bird had suddenly turned into the Godfather (Godfeather?): his scream was a tiny rasp about a quarter of the normal volume. After I took off his neck mount he sounded normal again, and I assumed that was the problem. And that may have been the problem -- I don't know what the early stages of asper look like.

Yesterday I noticed he was breathing a little harder than usual. There was also some spiky feathers under his mandible like they were wet. His behavior was normal as was his scream.

Today he was definitely breathing hard after chasing towhees. To my amusement he caught and killed a deer mushroom, and was very possessive about it. After I called him back we drove around a little more and I started noticing a different squeak -- the wheeze. I thought it was something else, but after we took another chase I definitely heard it was coming from him. I fed him his daily portion on the lure, took him home, weighed him, and fed him up on some fresh sparrow.

He's in his box for the night. I can hear his breathing even though he's at rest. I don't know if I'll find a dead bird in the morning. If not, I'll take him to a vet I know in Oakley.

It's possible he's got a bone stuck in his throat... could be something easy like that ... he flew pretty vigorously, ate with energy, his eyes look good, mutes too. We'll just have to wait it out and see. We'll take it easy for a day or three and either he'll make it or he won't.

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