On March 16, PAWS Wildlife Center received a phone call about a beached Western Grebe in Edmonds, WA. Wildlife Rehabilitator Nicki Rosenhagen drove to Edmonds and collected the bird from a wet patch of sand below the ferry terminal.
When she picked him up, the bird was wet to the skin, very cold and lethargic. Back at PAWS, we gave the grebe fluids and placed him in an incubator to combat his hypothermia. As his wet feathers dried and his body temperature rose he became active, vocal and extremely agitated toward his caregivers—all good signs that he was beginning to feel better.
A full examination of the Western Grebe revealed a small wound on his breast and an abrasion beneath his bill. He was otherwise in good condition. We placed the bird in a pool to test the water-repellency of his feathers. He was not perfectly waterproof, but he did not immediately become waterlogged either.
It’s unclear how or why he ended up on the beach, but he is recovering well from his ordeal. He will remain in PAWS’ care until his waterproofing is fully restored and he is ready to return home.