Handling and transport

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Good organization is essential: prolonged attempts to capture a bird will cause additional stress (this is especially cruel for smaller and more critically ill birds, which more easily go into shock); and incorrect or clumsy attempts at restraint will put both bird and handler at risk of injury. This chapter advises the reader on capture and transport.

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6.1 A good quality bird net, with soft mesh and a padded rim. (© John Chitty)
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6.2 Harris’ Hawk in a travelling box. Raptor transport boxes can be fashioned out of anything. The important issues are that they are easily cleaned and disinfected, have a perch, are secure and dark, and the tether can be secured on the outside. (b, © John Chitty)
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6.3 Tail guards may be fitted to travelling raptors to prevent damage to the deck feathers. (© Michael Lierz)
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6.4 Use of a cadge to transport hooded falcons. The leash length and spacing between the birds should be such that, if the hood comes off one of the birds, it will not be able to reach and attack other birds. Smaller carrying cadge. Hooding is an effective means of calming travelling raptors. (b, © John Chitty)
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6.5 Pigeon in travelling box. (© John Chitty)
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6.6 Bali Starling brought to the clinic in a travelling/show cage. (© John Chitty)
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6.7 Restraint of a large vulture requires control of the head primarily, as these species can inflict a nasty bite. The handler is wearing an eagle sleeve in addition to a glove. In species, as here, the feet are not a significant threat, but in some (e.g. spp.) the feet are dangerous too and therefore at least two handlers are always needed. (© John Chitty)
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6.8 Casting a hooded falcon. The bird is approached from behind with a towel which is placed around the body restraining the wings. The feet are controlled simultaneously between the small and ring fingers. The bird is then positioned to facilitate examination. (© Michael Lierz)
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6.9 Using a towel to capture a Red-tailed Hawk from an improvised transporter (a cardboard box).
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6.10 Restraint of a racing pigeon. (© John Chitty)
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6.11 Canary held using the most common grip. The correct method of securing the feet, with a finger separating the legs. The ‘ringer’s grip’, demonstrated on a Greenfinch. (c, © John Chitty)
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6.12 Restraining a Greater Hill Mynah using a towel.
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