Tuesday, July 01, 2014

More On Blaze

We have received an update on Blaze. It appears that Blaze has an issue with her keel.  For those that don't know, the keel is an extension of the breastbone (highlighted in blue below). The keel provides an anchor where bird's wing muscles attach, this provides the leverage needed for flight. Not all birds have keels, flightless birds lack a keel structure.
Through a detailed examination including x-rays, it was discovered that Blaze's keel is knobby and thickened at the top on both sides. This could be a developmental issue, but most likely traumatic. She may have hit the ground or a building on one of her first flights.  This early undetectable injury is the reason she hasn't had the strength to stay up.  There is no other sign of trauma.  She flaps both wings well and perches with no problems.

The vet who examined the bird did say that since she is young, it is possible the keel will reform or she will build up enough strength to overcome her injuries. But nothing is for certain.

Right now she is at a wildlife rehabilitation facility where she has an 80 foot flight cage.  She can fly the length of the cage, but it's difficult for her.  She needs time and that's what we are going to give her.  She is eating well and able to maneuver to high perches without any assistance.  We will update the blog as new information becomes available but for now she will stay put and hopefully recover for a release later this summer.