An adult male magnificent frigate bird was admitted to CROW after being found in the intercoastal waterway between Pine Island and Captiva unable to fly. The bird had several broken tail feathers. Veterinarians suspect some sort of unknown trauma that caused him to fall into the water. Since these birds don’t have waterproofed feathers, they become waterlogged.
“Once the bird is no longer in the water, the feathers can dry appropriately. Until then, the patient is at risk of becoming hypothermic since their feathers provide the main source of insulation,” explained Dr. Laura Kellow, CROW veterinary intern. “This particular bird is lucky he was found by caring people who pulled him out of the water and wrapped him in towels for transport to one of our partner clinics.”
Full radiographs were taken and showed no major abnormalities at first.
This case marked CROW’s 5,000th patient of the year.
“It is really unique and different that our 5,000th patient this year is a magnificent frigatebird, as we have only had three other patients of this species in our care this year. At the time of writing, we are almost 600 patients ahead of October last year,” said Dr. Kellow.