Release Rates and Complications for Birds of Prey with Antebrachial Fractures

AUTHORS: Claire Vergneau-Grosset, Amy S. Kapatkin, Joanne Paul-Murphy, David Sanchez-Migallon Guzman, Michelle G. Hawkins

We have completed a retrospective case series including 253 free-ranging birds of prey admitted to the CA Raptor Center to describe the treatment and outcome of fractures of the forearm of the wing. Medical records from birds of prey belonging to 21 species admitted with these fractures between 1989 and 2015 were reviewed. Species distribution on admission, treatment, outcome and complications were described by fracture category and species. Among birds presented with the ulnar bone fractured only, those with a closed fracture (bone does not penetrate the skin) were significantly more likely to be released than birds with open (bone does penetrate the skin) fractures. In addition, birds presented with a fracture of the middle of the ulna were significantly more likely to be released than birds presented with a single fracture of the upper third of the ulna.