Rehabilitating the American woodcock

Spring has sprung! Despite the fluctuating temperatures, wildlife have begun preparing for the warmer months ahead.

The earliest sign of spring at the Wildlife Clinic is the migration of the American woodcock. These birds are typically the first to arrive in

American Woodcock

the spring and the last to leave in the winter. Woodcocks are known for their unique looks and fascinating courtship displays.

This woodcock was admitted to the clinic after flying into a window while migrating over Philadelphia. After his examination, our rehabilitators decided to perform an X-ray to determine the extent of his injury.

Accommodating its long beak

Radiograph of anesthetized woodcock

furcula (wishbone) fracture.

Our rehabilitators had to get creative to accommodate the woodcock’s long beak and allow for proper sedation. They created a special oxygen mask that fit him perfectly, and the X-rays confirmed their suspicions of a furcula (wishbone) fracture. The woodcock has been making great strides in the healing process since then.