Quailwood Animal Hospital rescues fledgling Hawk - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Quailwood Animal Hospital rescues fledgling Hawk

Fledgling Hawk Fledgling Hawk
Veterinarian, Dr. Larry Branch reaching for Hawk Veterinarian, Dr. Larry Branch reaching for Hawk
Veterinarian, Dr. Larry Branch Veterinarian, Dr. Larry Branch

A Tifton veterinarian, Dr. Larry Branch, is willing to help more than just your average pet. Right now, he has nearly a dozen birds in his animal hospital including a fledgling Hawk that would have starved to death without help.

Dr. Larry Branch says, "It's that time of year when baby birds are born and sometimes fall from the nest." He says before you intervene; make sure the bird is in danger.

When springtime rolls around, you'll find more than just dogs and cats in the cages at Quailwood Animal Hospital.

"So far we've gotten in 8 song birds, a dove with a broken, leg and this is our first bird of prey for the year." said Dr. Larry Branch, Veterinarian.

But Dr. Larry Branch says that's nothing new.

"This is the season for birds to be hatching," he said.

Every year, folks throughout the community bring in dozens of birds that need help.

"We've had redbirds in the past, pretty much all of them, last year someone brought in a Kestrel; Very beautiful," said Veterinarian Assistant Phyllis Price

This week, someone brought this young Red Shouldered Hawk in for help.

"This one fell out of a nest that was about 50 feet high and needed help, or else he was going to starve," Dr. Branch said.

Dr. Branch and his staff are making sure that doesn't happen.  So, they've been taking special care feeding the fledgling bird along with the others that have come in.

"This little fella is probably really confused right now, he's used to his mama and daddy flying up and feeding him prey that they've killed," he said.

At first, he was eating well, but Thursday it was a bit of a challenge.

"I think he has a natural instinct he should eat that but he doesn't know what to do," he said.

That's where a trained specialist comes into play.

"It takes a quite a bit of skill and resources from people who are trained by this to get him to do this on his own so he can be released into the wild," Dr. Branch said. 

He has a soft spot for all types of animals, and if at all possible, he gives all creatures a shot at survival.

"I'm in such awe of this type of animal, a bird of prey they are just so able to do what they do so well; it's amazing," he said.

However, before you intervene with an injured or struggling wild animal, Dr. Branch suggests contacting animal control or your local vet instead.

Dr. Branch just sent the Hawk to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University, where they have a raptor rehab center for the southeast.

Dr. Branch says during the winter, he sees more injured adult birds.


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