Aurora is a female Bald Eagle that came to us from the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, Illinois. Aurora was hit by a truck in Missouri, and was found wading in the Mississippi River by boaters. The boaters called the state of Missouri wildlife police, where she was rescued and brought to Quincy, Illinois for rehabilitation. She suffers from a radius, ulna, and metacarpal fracture, making her unable to extend her left wing and fly adequately enough for release. Christine’s Critters obtained their federal eagle exhibition permit, and Aurora was transferred from Illinois to Connecticut in October 2016.
Aquila is a female bald eagle hatched in 2004 that came to us in April 2018 for rehabilitation. She was suffering from a wing injury from a car collision and from neurological issues due to lead poisoning.
Over the course of months, Aquila received chelation therapy to try to remove the lead from her system. Unfortunately the lead caused long term neurological damage affecting her ability to properly maintain flight and her ability to be able to survive in the wild.
Higgins, our northern saw whet owl, came into rehabilitation after being discovered under a bed inside someone’s house. He had been brought inside by a cat, who unfortunately broke Higgins’ wing. The wing did not heal well enough to allow Higgins to regain flight.
Ash, an eastern screech owl, was picked up by a good samaritan on the side of the road after he was hit by a car. His left eye was swollen and he had wounds on the left side of his face and body. He was a fighter and survived the trauma, but unfortunately is blind and deaf on his left side as a result of the trauma.
Ember, formerly known as Ford, is a red phased eastern screech owl who came to us from the Roaring Brook Nature Center. She was hit by a car and lost her left eye as a result. She has joined Ash in her aviary and we are looking forward to being able to bring two different color phases of screech owls out on programs!
Magma is an eastern screech owl who came to us in the summer of 2018. He carrived with an already fused upside down and backwards wing from an old fracture. He is totally unflighted as a result, and has his forever home with Ash and Ember, our other eastern screech owls.
Magma is quite a hit on programs as he is sassy and not shy about vocalizing for his captive audience.
Willow is a female Barred Owl that came to us in March of 2016 from Tufts University Wildlife Clinic. Willow was admitted to their clinic in November of 2015 with a radius and ulna fracture. Willow had been hunting along a roadway and got struck by a vehicle, causing the injury. Despite care from one of the best wildlife vets in the region, her wing could not be fully fixed.
Cypress is a female barred owl who came to us twice for rehab. She was struck by a car and after a week of rehab was able to return to the wild. She was struck by a car again about 5 weeks after she returned to the wild and suffered brain damage which prevents her release. She lives with Willow and together they raise orphaned barred owl babies for us in the spring.
Equinox is a peregrine falcon found grounded in Fairfield CT from unknown causes in the summer of 2018. She suffers from neurological damage, most likely from a collision with a car. Due to her limitations, she was not releasable. Peregrines are the fastest animal on the planet! We are very excited to have Equinox as one of our educational ambassadors.
Solstice is a male peregrine flacon found on the ground in Fairfield CT in August 2018 after a collision with a car. He suffered a fractured wrist and despite immediate medical care from our avian vets, the wing could not be set properly to attain flight for release. He is a very pale colored peregrine and is likely a tundra peregrine from further north, injured during migration.
Chip is a male American Kestrel that came to us in January of 2017 from Wind Over Wings in Dresden, Maine. Chip was struck by a car and lost eyesight of his right eye in 2005. At first, the eye remained there, but in 2016 it shriveled up and Chip was declared a one eyed bird. Although he is flighted, Chip cannot be released as he cannot see well enough to hunt. Chip served as an educational ambassador for Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings for over 5 years, where he was later transferred and placed with us. About 75% of the raptors that Christine’s Critters admits each year have been struck by a vehicle.
Salsa is a female American kestrel that came to us from the Bronx in early 2019. She was found n an apartment being kept in a bird cage as a pet. Raptors do NOT make good pets, and it is illegal to possess them unless properly licensed for educational purposes.
As a result of her being kept in captivity by people that did not understand the species, Salsa is imprinted to humans and unable to be released to the wild.
If you find an injured baby raptor, get help immediately from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator!
Chester is a female Red Tailed Hawk that came to us in May of 2015 from Bolton Veterinary Hospital in Bolton, CT. Chester was found on the side of I-84 nearby, and was brought by a kind person to the vet. Chester lost her eyesight of her right eye due to being struck by a vehicle, but miraculously did not break any bones. Although she is fully flighted, Chester cannot see well enough to hunt, and thus cannot be released back into the wild. About 75% of the raptors that Christine’s Critters admits each year have been struck by a vehicle.
Amelia is a female Red Tailed Hawk that came to us as a nestling from Portland, CT in July 2016. She was found on the ground after falling out of her nest. During that time on the ground, she got a maggot infestation in her ear canal. Maggots are a natural invader within baby hawk ears, but when a hawk is on the ground and dehydrated, the hawk is prone to having too many hatch out. The maggots ate through her ear canal into her eye socket and caused permanent hearing and sight loss of her right side. She cannot be released as she cannot hunt well enough to be released.
Manilla, a northern goshawk, came to us in December of 2016 from a local animal control officer, unable to stand and almost totally comatose. Under the excellent care of our vet for most of the month, she regained her ability to stand, and came back here for rehabilitation to determine whether or not she would be releasable. Unfortunately, she has permanent neurological damage which resulted in her inability to fly (her right wing droops for unknown reasons) She was unable to tear her own food for over a year, but can now understand and eat whole prey items on her own.
Ariel is a female Broad Winged Hawk that came to us as a young juvenile in August of 2016. Ariel was found right in Christine’s Critters hometown, Weston CT. She was hunting sparrows by a bird feeder. During the chase, she flew into a window and suffers from permanent wing nerve damage. Ariel is unable to spread her left wing, and thus is not releasable back to the wild. Ariel shares an enclosure with Skye, and they seem to enjoy each other’s company.
George is a male broad winged hawk who came to us with West Nile Virus. He survived, but had issues with feather growth as a result. He was raised by Skye and Ariel, overwintered with us so that we could determine his feather growth after a molt, and was then deemed non releasable.
Baby is a red shouldered hawk who suffered permanent neurological damage after being struck by a car. He is unable to totally control his one leg, and as such is not a candidate for release. He shares an aviary with Boomer, and the two of them love to yell to anyone that passes by!
Boomer is a male Red Shouldered Hawk that came to us in October of 2016 from Trumbull, CT. Boomer has a birth defect of his right foot’s center talon, making him unable to fully close his foot. For this reason, that is why Boomer came in starving to us; he wasn't hunting well enough due to this defect. Boomer is a very vocal bird, and often makes calls all day while adjusting to life here.
Archer is a male Cooper’s Hawk that came to us in the June of 2015 from Litchfield County, CT. Archer was hunting in someone’s yard at their bird feeder. As Archer was chasing a songbird to eat, he flew into a window and sustained a permanent wing nerve injury. Birds don’t see windows like people do, and often run into them thinking that nothing is there or if they see their own reflection. This causes thousands of birds to die and become injured each year, and Archer was just one bird that was afflicted.
Spade is a male Cooper's hawk that came to us in the summer of 2017 after having struck a window. After extensive rehabilitation, we attempted to release him. Unfortunately, when we released him, he flew off and then struck a tree trunk. We recaptured him and took him back to our veterinarian for further evaluation. It was determined that he has permanent eyesight damage that affects his long distance vision. He is unable to be returned to the wild and shares an aviary with Archer.
Gone But Not Forgotten
Skye is a male Broad Winged Hawk that came to us as a nestling in July of 2015 from Litchfield County, CT. A homeowner hired a tree service to cut down some unsightly trees in his yard. As they were cutting down his nest tree, he fell 60-90 feet directly onto pavement. Despite the severity of the fall, Skye suffered no internal injuries other than a fractured hip. During his time in rehab, it was thought that once his hip healed, he could go free. Unfortunately, there was permanent muscle and soft tissue damage done to leg, rendering him from fully closing his right talon. This makes it impossible for him to catch food adequately enough for release.
Poseidon came to us with a broken wrist from falling from his nest shortly before fledging in early July 2016. It required amputation, and Poseidon healed well and adapted to life in captivity.
We worked with him and had him fully gloved trained and ready for programs, when he suddenly fell ill and died within hours. His approval to be an ambassador actually arrived in the mail on the day of his death. A necropsy showed West Nile Virus and as a result, we now inoculate all of our birds against WNV each year. Poseidon was an incredible osprey, and we wish that everyone had had the opportunity to meet him.