Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This showed up in my chicken coop.

It's pretty darn feisty despite the blood. Injured, but a lot of fight left in her.

I'll be calling the forest service as soon as they open to drop her off at their offices (hopefully) -- the last thing I want is to try to rehab what I assume is a fish (and finger) eating wild waterbird of some kind. In the middle of Arizona. With the nearest lake many miles away.

We've had some impressively bad weather (hurricane remnants), so it may have been blown in from elsewhere.

Any idea what it is? I don't recognize the species at all, but, errm, I'm not exactly experienced with wild waterfowl. Arizona and all.
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,092 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think you're right.

Feisty little thing. I'm not looking forward to moving it to a box for transport. I think welding gloves are called for ...

(My dogs had it cornered and when I heard the puppy yelp and saw both of them jumping back, I thought they had a snake. Imagine my surprise when I saw a bird instead. And then I tried to handle it the same way I do ducks, which is to grab for head -- it might not be a snake, but it sure strikes as fast as one.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So I guess this counts as my good deed for the day -- I went by the forest service office and spoke to their biologist. He looked at the grebe and said he thought that Game and Fish would just put it down. He also had a good point -- they don't really need to fly to survive, so he could survive in the wild with an injured wing, until his wing healed.

He suggested turning it loose in a city lake nearby which has a good food supply (stocked with small trout and tons of crawdads) and which has canada geese to run the coyotes off. He thought the bird's survival odds would be better there than with G&F.

So I took the grebe down to the lake. And I got bit again when I opened the box... I have NEVER handled a bird that could strike faster or with better aim. That bird could strike faster than a rattlesnake.

But as soon as the grebe saw the water, he waddled over to it. I'm guessing by the way they move they don't come on land very often, LOL. He then dove underwater, popped up about twenty feet away, hooted at me (very likely an unpleasant description of my ancestry in grebe-language, given his general disposition), and dove again. I waited a few minutes but he didn't come back up.

I hope he makes it. The wing didn't look too bad -- most of the blood was from broken feathers, though I think I could feel a fracture. He was feisty enough that I don't think he had any internal injuries. And by the way he took off when he hit the water, I'd say he plenty of energy left. So if he can avoid infection, he has a fighting chance.

Personality wise, that bird made geese and evil roosters look downright friendly. Wow. LOL. Talk about 'tude!
 

·
free leonard peltier
Joined
·
2,315 Posts
That was a pretty exciting find for you there!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
That was a pretty exciting find for you there!
You know, I hunt and fish and I butcher my own chickens. I shoot squirrels that get in my garden. I'm not a someone who is overly sentimental or who anthropomorphizes wildlife. However, I like birds. And anything with that much fight left in it deserved a chance to survive. Also, I'd never seen a grebe before, ever, that I could remember, so it was pretty interesting to see up close.

I was really glad I could save him from the dogs and turn him loose some place where he had a fighting chance to make it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,205 Posts
I've never seen a grebe that close up. It seems like they're always way far out on the lake when I see them. You should feel blessed!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've never seen a grebe that close up. It seems like they're always way far out on the lake when I see them. You should feel blessed!
I suspect I've heard them in the far distance on Arizona's lakes (the bigger ones), because the sound off their calls is familiar. I've never seen one up close where I could positively identify it and say, "That's not a duck." I have pretty lousy vision. ;-) Apparently, they're native to this area but not common.

There are no lakes in this area -- just a few small private ponds and stock tanks. I suspect he was probably migrating, got tangled up in the big thunderstorm we had last night, and crash landed. He was pretty fat -- I was surprised by how heavy he was -- so I'm guessing he was healthy before he landed in our yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
:) rescued a seagull that was wrapped in fishing line once....nasty nasty bird. was like wrestling a snake with a stiletto strapped to the front end. :duel:And no gratitude what so ever once feed. Kudos to you for keeping your fingers!!:happy:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
:) rescued a seagull that was wrapped in fishing line once....nasty nasty bird. was like wrestling a snake with a stiletto strapped to the front end. :duel:And no gratitude what so ever once feed. Kudos to you for keeping your fingers!!:happy:
LOL. My fingers are bruised but intact. I love your description. The grebe was
more like handling a snake with a pick axe on one end.

True story on seagulls -- I was down at Rocky Point, Mexico, several years ago. (Las Conchas beach for the folks familiar with the area.) Some kids were torturing a crab with a stick. I rescued the crab from the kids, scolded the kids, and then tried to toss the crab out into the tide pools where I figured it could find a place to hide.

Only there were seagulls.

Yeah. One of them grabbed the crab in midair and had itself a nice crab dinner. :smack
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top