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American wigeon recovers at PROWLS

American wigeon

BIRD IN THE BATHTUB: Arriving at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society, this young American wigeon was delighted to be put in the bathtub of cool water.

She first stood right under the tap to wash off her muddy head. Then, as the water deepened, she began swimming with her elegant paddle feet.

Thin and making her first migration (hard on any young bird), she had already flown a long way but hit a window on Sycamore Street in Townsite. She was found sitting on the ground, too concussed to even try to escape.

American wigeons are highly gregarious with a distinct, high-pitched, three-note call much like a squeaky toy. They are at home on land, waddling through fields, or swimming in water.

A model patient, she really appreciated the menu on offer and rapidly gained weight.

After recovery, she was released at Lindsay Park on Cranberry Lake, where she found many other wigeons splashing about, Powell River being a major migration destination.

But before she swam off, she looked back many times at PROWLS president Merrilee Prior, seeming to acknowledge her care.