Apparent fatal snakebite in three hawks

J Wildl Dis. 1994 Oct;30(4):616-9. doi: 10.7589/0090-3558-30.4.616.


Based on histories and gross and histologic findings, snakebite was diagnosed in three dead raptors submitted for post-mortem examination from northern Florida and southern Georgia (USA). Two immature red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) were found next to dead and partially eaten venomous snakes. An adult Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) was found adjacent to a den containing a cotton-mouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) and an eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). Gross findings in all birds consisted of hemorrhage and gangrenous necrosis of one limb. Severe muscular degeneration was seen histologically.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Agkistrodon*
  • Animals
  • Bird Diseases / pathology*
  • Birds
  • Crotalus*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Snake Bites / pathology
  • Snake Bites / veterinary*