Adam Welz's Weblog

R I P Houston 3

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, birds & birding by adamwelz on July 1, 2008

NB: FLAMINGO PETITION STORY BELOW THIS POST

Dear Friends

Spoke with Cathy Horvath this morning, and have sad news to report. Houston 3, the silly young Red-tailed Hawk that I helped rescue from the traffic, has died. (See blog post below for more on that.)

The bird, along with its older siblings, Houston 1 & 2, had come into the Horvath’s care after coming down in dangerous situations near the nest. Houston 1 has been released into the foster care of the Triborough Bridge Red-tails, but Houston 2 & 3 remained with the Horvaths as, when they were taken there, they were not yet well flighted-enough to be released near their rather dangerous nest site.

The Houston ‘father’ bird was found on the ground some days ago obviously unwell and unable to fly. He died shortly after of Frounce (in the Horvath’s care) after which the Horvath’s realised that his kids, 2 & 3, were also infected, and began treatment.

Frounce is a nasty disease caused by a protozoan that likes living in the crops of pigeons. It is therefore likely that Houston 2 & 3, and their father, became infected from the same pigeon, probably caught by the father and fed to 2 & 3 while they were still on the nest. The Horvaths do not feed pigeon to their birds.

So now the only one of that family of Red-tails left in the Houston St area is the adult female. When last seen she appeared healthy. A question remains as to whether Houston 1, the one fostered out to Triborough, is also infected with Frounce. He has in past days seen acting strangely, as in lying down, but seemed in good health yesterday. It is possible that he’s clean, as the putative infected pigeon may have been brought to the nest by the male after 1 had already flown, but he must be carefully watched.

Houston 2 is apparently not yet cured but holding up so far.

Cheers

Adam

PS More on the Houston Hawks at Donna Browne’s blog, http://palemaleirregulars.blogspot.com/

PS A friend in China tells me that my blog is blocked by the state Internet Police. (You know you’re talking about something important when you get banned – like birds and birding!) Don’t you just love totalitarian regimes and censorship? I get so tired of hearing of all the ‘progress’ made in China without talk of the costs, the massive environmental costs and the costs in terms of basic human liberty.

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3 Responses

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  1. Jose Sanchez said, on July 2, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I am sorry to read about baby Hawk # 3 dying and the father Hawk dying as well that is very sad. I knew those damn pigeons are nothing but rats with wings and besides crapping on everything they spread disease as well. They are nothing but a menace to this city. I hope baby Hawks #1 & 2 and the mother Hawk make it. They are great animals and should survive.

  2. Ann Koeslag said, on July 4, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I have often wondered whether the raptors that eat mainly birds are susceptible to the diseases that their prey carry or whether they have an immunity to those diseases. Does anyone know?

  3. Jose Sanchez said, on July 7, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Ann, from the death of the two lower east side Red Tail Hawks from eating diseased pigeons so far it is clear that they are indeed susceptible to diseases from their prey and unfortunatley do not have any immunity to any disease that they catch from the prey that they eat.


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