We featured Lesser Scaup 11-0012 as an animal in care back on January 21. I am happy to report that he has since completed his treatment and has been returned to his home in the wild.
On January 25, PAWS Wildlife Facilities Caretaker Jim Green and I drove the scaup to Silver Lake in Everett, WA. As we approached the shore, we could see the lake was teeming with waterfowl. Best of all, there was a raft (the scientific name for a flock of ducks in water) of eight or so Lesser Scaup about 100 yards offshore.
Standing on a floating dock, Jim removed the scaup from his transport carrier and placed him in the water. The bird swam away slowly at first, taking in the sights and sounds of the lake around him.
He soon noticed the other scaup nearby and took to the air, making a beeline for the small flock. He landed close to the flotilla, and immediately swam into the middle of it. Within a few seconds, Jim and I could no longer distinguish him from the other birds he had just joined.
Having successfully completed our task, we left the scaup to enjoy his newly restored freedom.