This female Prairie Chicken, a threatened species in Wisconsin, was badly injured when hit by a vehicle on March 19, 2019. She was found by an alert birder. The birder alerted the State of WI DNR personal at the Buena Vista Marsh Grasslands. Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI) was called, REGI volunteer Kathy Esqueda, transported the critically injured bird to our clinic.
The Prairie Chickens prognosis was grim when admitted. Her breast and abdominal muscles were exposed. Skin and feathers missing, a situation that could develop into a raging infection. She'd lost a great deal of blood and was still actively bleeding internally. Her leg, ribs and sternum sustained impact injure as well.
We went to work immediately to try to first stabilize the patient and then to support her as she recovered. Milestones were reached such as when she began to eat on her own, walk again, showed regrowth of feathers and finally flying.
We are very happy with the prairie chickens progress. She has a small area on her sternum that needs a week or so to recover fully. She has been outdoors exercising and preparing for release. We anticipate her release will be in time for breeding. The State of WI will direct the time and place of her release. It will be within the boundaries of the protected Prairie Chicken Grasslands area.
As always, many people, volunteers and the State of WI DNR were involved in bringing this important individual into care. Untold number of hours were spent in her care and feeding over the past 7 weeks, as well as the cost of the high protein diet that consisted mostly of live insects, important in her recovery.
We will be very happy to see her back in her natural habitat soon. Thank you to everyone involved! As always it takes a village.