SOUTH SHORE YMCA NATURAL SCIENCE CENTER

To the Rescue!

Posted: Jan. 28, 2014

MassWildlife - horned grebe

Photo by Debra Silva, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife. 

There are times when we all come across animals in the wild having a tough time. We don’t always know what is wrong with them, but we do know that something is not right.

This bird, a Horned Grebe, was found struggling to take off on Monday, and a passerby who happened to see it having its troubles called the state’s division of fish and wildlife office in Buzzards Bay. What was wrong? broken bone? a sprain? It was hard to know without getting a closer look. And when a wild animal allows itself to be approached and picked up, that’s proof enough that something is, indeed, wrong.

So it was taken in by Fish and Wildlife, and brought to a doctor for an examination. All seemed in order. But would it eat? Man, would it! The photographer, Deb Silva of Fish and Wildlife, gave it a few fish and they were gone within moments. The bird was so full of energy, they released it this morning, seemingly none the worse for wear. Temporarily affected by the severe cold? Perhaps, and honestly, we will probably never know.

Horned Grebes are off our coast right now, but will move north to breed, and dramatically change their plumage in the meantime. We get to see them in their “winter coats,” and miss half the show. But at least for this one, we can say the chance is there to go through the process one more time. Way to go, Fish and Wildlife!