Polymelia and syndactyly in a Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)

Krysta H. Rogers, Asli Mete, Stella McMillin, Richard Shinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A hatch-year Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) recovered from Modoc County, California, US, on 12 August 2012 had malformations of the rear limbs consisting of bilateral polymelia and syndactyly. We describe the malformations and evaluate potential causes. Postmortem examination revealed varus rotation of both femurs and abnormal appendages originating from the distal medial surface of the tibiotarsi with two nonfunctional digits on the right leg and one digit on the left leg. There was syndactyly between digits III and IV of both feet. Avian pox viral dermatitis was present on the skin of the ventral abdomen. A definitive cause of the skeletal malformations was not identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-117
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Avian pox
  • Buteo swainsoni
  • Malformation
  • Polymelia
  • Swainson’s hawk
  • Syndactyly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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