Roseate Spoonbill With Keel Fracture Recovers

roseate spoonbill in bathtubThe following story was shared with us by Clinic For The Rehabilitation Of Wildlife (CROW) in Florida.

On June 9, 2020, a juvenile roseate spoonbill was admitted to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island, Florida, after being found injured in Bonita Springs. Upon presentation to the clinic, it had a quiet mentation, a thin body condition score and weighed 810 grams (about 1.8 pounds).

Full radiographs and blood work were obtained. Veterinarians determined it had a keel fracture. The patient was given fluids and pain meds and was put on cage rest. Due to its thin body condition, staff began tube-feedings of EmerAid IC Piscivore formula.

After a few days, the spoonbill began to self-feed smelt and insectivore pellets with no assistance. It was moved to a small outdoor enclosure where it could have cage rest but also a more stress-free environment while the fracture healed.

roseate spoonbill standing on grassAfter a few weeks of rest, the keel fracture had healed and stabilized nicely and the bird was cleared for release. Its weight had increased to over 1,000 grams (about 2.2 pounds), and the body condition score had improved significantly.

Because this patient was a juvenile, it was very important to find a flock of other roseate spoonbills to release it with. Luckily CROW is located adjacent to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge where spoonbills frequent the shallow waterways. On July 2, 2020, after 23 days of rehab, it was taken to the wildlife refuge and released into a flock of other roseate spoonbills.