First, I love my job. I get to combine my passion for wildlife with my professional skills. Then, there are the people I work with. I’ve learned so much from them. Every day I go to the office I learn amazing facts. Take yesterday for example.
We admitted a Pied-billed Grebe that had crash landed on a road instead of in a nearby lake.
After a physical exam and x-rays to check for internal damage, she was given a clean bill of health. The amazing part of this story? She had an egg in her. Yep, we could see it on the x-ray, and you can too:
Yes, this is cool because you can actually see the egg, and see that it’s still soft – the thin white circle around the dark circle is the actual shell. You can see the vertebrae behind the egg in fact. But the really neat part of this? It’s by far earlier than normal for grebes to be nesting. There are no records outside of the month of May here in Minnesota.
We quickly returned the uninjured grebe to the nearby lake, hoping she’ll continue her nesting cycle.
The other neat thing that happened yesterday is we learned that the oldest wild pelican on record was a 20-year old bird in Montana. Why would we learn that? Because we received a report back from the federal Bird Banding Laboratory on a band that we removed from an injured pelican last winter. Turns out that pelican, which sadly had to be euthanized, was 17 years old and was banded as a young fledgling in 1994. A pelican that was 17 years old! I had no idea they lived that long.
All learned in an exciting day at WRC. Wonder what today holds in store…