Western Grebe Caught in Fishing Line Now Gone Fishin’ Herself
On June 6, 2009, WCSV Director of Animal Care, Stephane Ellis, released a Western Grebe, one of the less common birds we treat at the Center. Here is her account of the grebe’s rehabilitation.
“The grebe came in thin and weak with fishing line constricting movement of the right wing. I removed the line and she had some minor soft-tissue swelling and abrasions where the line had been. The grebe received supportive care, an injection of Ivermectin (de-wormer) and Vitamin B1 supplementation. Her blood work was within normal range. I gave her swim time in a small pool daily for <2 hours to encourage her to preen and maintain her waterproofing. She would not eat so she received fluids and 3-4 tube feedings of a nutritious seabird slurry daily. She was misted with a spray bottle of H20 several times daily to encourage preening. She was kept in a duck box (soft-bottomed screening) to prevent her from getting keel and hock sores during her stay. (Ideally she would be in water all day but we do not have a seabird pool...) When she gained sufficient weight and was waterproof I released her off the floating dock at the Palo Alto Baylands. The release was amazing! She kept diving and diving and diving and headed out to the Bay. She looked really happy!"