INTRODUCING OUR WONDERFUL
MS. MURPHY, OUR RED TAILED HAWK
Murphy has a fascinating history. She came into a wildlife rehabilitation group in El Dorado County, CA, unable to fly or stand. Kelli and Carol actually went on her rescue and were in charge of her rehabilitation. She had no broken bones or any identifiable injury. We didn’t know what was wrong with her. She was just – down. After weeks of food and rest, when she seemed to be recovering her strength, she suddenly had a seizure. She came through that with some setbacks, but was alive and alert, and she recovered once more. Then she suffered another seizure, so Kelli and Dr. Carol, HH&H’s vet of record, took her to Dr. Vickie Joseph a well known raptor veterinarian for an assessment. There, a blood test revealed that Murphy was suffering from West Nile Virus. Red-tailed hawks and owls, along with crows and magpies, are very susceptible to this serious disease. Most birds that contract it die – it affects their entire physical and psychological systems.
But Murphy was determined to survive. She was under a year old when she came in and now, years later after care and physical therapy, she has recovered remarkably. She still has balance problems, though she is improving in that area. And she will remain partially blind in both eyes. Kelli, her handler and trainer, flies her, gets her to exercise in other ways, and has helped her come to enjoy entertaining a crowd. But she sees well enough to fly on a creance (a long flexible leash). Kelli has Murphy leashed to her glove so that she can control, to a degree, where and how far Murphy flies. It is good exercise for all concerned! If you click on the video link, you will learn more about Murphy and see her flying for food treats.