After some unknown trauma when he was very young, our northern harrier was treated at a rehabilitation center in Freedom, Maine. The tip of his right wing is entirely missing, and some of the remaining feathers have permanent follicle damage. As a result, Freedom has limited flight and was transferred to VINS in 2003.
Of all our permanent residents, Freedom has needed the most medical attention in recent years. He somehow sustained a small wound on the bottom of his left foot, which required daily care for a long time. Foot wounds can be very difficult to heal, simply because birds are always on their feet. For many months, Freedom lived in our rehabilitation center, where staff carefully treated and monitored his wound. Thanks to their care, the foot did not become infected and finally healed, much to everyone’s relief.
Since his return to his exhibit enclosure, Freedom has been doing much better. Even his feathers look healthier! Our rehabilitators still check his feet several times per year, and he receives a full health check twice per year. Freedom enjoys a diet of mice, rat, and rabbit.