Napoleon, a 1-year-old male red-tailed hawk owned by a falconer, presented on August
12, 2011 because he was reluctant to bear weight on his left leg. A physical exam and
x-rays revealed a fracture of his tibiotarsal bone. Since he had been in his housing
area/flight pen (called a "mews"), it was not known how the fracture occurred.
The bird was anesthetized and a pin was placed to stabilize the fracture. Antibiotics and
pain medications were sent home with the falconer.
The bird was x-rayed again on September 28th and the fracture was completely healed,
as shown above. The falconer got the bird in flying shape over the next three weeks and
he was released into the wild. Most falconry birds are only kept 1 to 2 years and then are
released. Radio-tracking studies have shown that they quickly revert to their wild ways
and have survival rates equal to their wild peers.