HIBISCUS VETERINARY HOSPITALS
For Dedicated Wild Animal Health Care

STEPPE BUZZARD

A large raptor stunned himself flying against a window in Ramsgate (probably chasing smaller prey). He soon recovered from the concussion, with the help of a little cortisone.

Steppe Buzzard showing beautiful  plumage

However, he was full of ticks and lice (>700 lice fell off after spraying him), and had a chronic fungal nasal infection with the left nostril completely clogged up and a large crust covering the nostril. He was treated for a week with antifungals and nebulised 4 times daily, initially crop-dosed, but he soon developed a liking for chicken necks and finished at least 4 per day!.

Steve attacking chicken necks for lunch

Released successfully on our farm just inland of St Michaels.

Steve, the Steppe Buzzard released

Thank you, I'am free again!
After release, possibly thinking:
"Thank you, but don't put me in a cage again"?


Interesting anomalies: Steppe buzzards should not occur in our area after April (though some individuals overwinter…. Was he possibly too ill to migrate with his friends?)

A distinguishing feature of Steppe buzzards in all colour morphs is supposed to be barring of the plumage of lower abdomen: not present in this individual. This led us to consider a possible alternative identification as a Forest buzzard: much less common, generally lighter plumage with more marked teardrop-shaped darker spots on the chest, which were present to a degree. After much debate and reading of bird-books, we finally decided on a name for him: Steve" the Steppe buzzard.



 

 

Margate Vet Hospital
Wildlife
Margate Vet Hospital