I came home to an unusual (but really not that unusual) message last night after a long day working on ski trails and cross country ski races here in Vermont. A lady from Michigan called to say she thought she had a loon land in her field and she put it in a box after chasing it down. I must be near the top if you Google “loon rescue”. I’m not a big computer guy so I have yet to do it. I returned her call, and yes, she did have a waterbird in her possession that was either weak or made a mistake in where it landed. She sent me a photo via email and the bird was actually a Horned Grebe. Pretty cool!
I’m sure the bird was a bit cool too, given the arctic weather we’ve all experienced this winter. I advised her to contact a local veterinarian to see if there were any wildlife rehabilitators in her area as the bird likely could use a little energy boost. It appeared healthy otherwise. If she could not find a rehabber, finding a place with open water was the next solution to let nature take its course. I was thinking Lake Michigan would have open water; it does not. Frozen solid. But there is a power plant nearby that keeps a large area of open water all year. This might be the next best thing and convenient. We can only do so much and for this woman to take this bird in was already a big step. Let’s hope for the best but realize winter can be tough on wildlife. And I learned a little bit about Horned Grebes and how good people are in trying to help others in need.