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Quick turn-around for a Pied-billed Grebe



When it happens, we call it a roadstrike. It's a very serious situation that happens to water birds, usually loons or grebes, who cannot take flight without first running on top of the water to gain speed. Roadstrikes occur when these birds mistake the wet surface of a road or parking lot for the shimmering surface of a body of water. They come in for a landing, often injuring themselves during the unexpectedly-hard touchdown, and then they're stranded. Without human intervention, they usually don't have long before they move from the category of roadstrike to roadkill. Thankfully, that was not to be the fate of a Pied-billed Grebe who crashed down near the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.


The grebe was found on the pavement on May 8, and he was immediately rescued and transported to PAWS. Fortunately the tiny-bodied bird had only suffered some minor foot abrasions and ruffled feathers during the impact. After two days of preening, rehydration and an all-he-could-eat fish and mealworm buffet, the grebe was good as new. On May 10, PAWS Wildlife Facilities Caretaker Jim Green gently placed the grebe on the surface of Green Lake, not far from the zoo.

The grebe wasted no time diving below the surface and swimming away, perhaps relieved to be in actual water this time instead of sitting on the hard, unforgiving pavement that had tricked him during his last wild flight.




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