Type of bird: Northwestern crow (Corvus caurinus).
What happened: On Sept. 12, a crow flew into Juneau's lower tram building from the waterfront side and ran into many windows before she was finally captured.
Injuries: X-rays revealed no broken bones. Her wings seemed to function well, but she was unable to stand and appeared to have no strength or control over her legs.
Care: Initially, she was treated with an anti-inflammatory and given fluids. For three days she was force fed and laid on her side. She then started to eat food on her own when it was handed to her. After two weeks, Rachel was still struggling, though she was slowly improving. She gained the strenth to sit upright on her legs and belly and now trys to stand in earnest. On Sept. 27, she was able to sit on the lower half of her legs with the rest of her body off the ground, which is a vast improvement.
Update as of Oct. 11: Rachel was moved to a larger indoor enclosure where she is able to use her wings to move about. Her caretaker reports that Rachel now eats on her own. However, she is still unable to stand or walk. Volunteers remain hopeful about her recovery.
Release: Until Rachel's condition improves further, there is no chance for her release at this time.
More about the Northwestern crow: In general, Northwestern crows are large, shiny, black birds with long, solid bills. They can be distinguished from common ravens by their smaller size, straight or slightly rounded tails and higher-pitched voices. Ravens also have more massive bills and longer, shaggier feathers at their throats. Northwestern crows are smaller than the closely related American crows and have lower, huskier voices. Many authorities believe that the Northwestern crow is not a true species, but a subspecies of the American crow. This species occurs in coastal regions and offshore islands of southern Alaska, south through British Columbia to Washington state. Beaches and shorelines are the principal forage areas. It can often be seen in and around urban areas.
Message phone for the Juneau Raptor Center, 586-8393; emergency pager, 790-5424; or for more information about the JRC, go online to juneauraptorcenter.org.
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