Keep on paddling

Coot release

This American Coot was rescued on November 8 after being found
stranded near a major South County expressway. Its examination at
W.E.R.C. showed no wounds or fractures, but the left wing
drooped.
This American Coot was rescued on November 8 after being found stranded near a major South County expressway. Its examination at W.E.R.C. showed no wounds or fractures, but the left wing drooped. The wing was kept wrapped for a week to aid in healing and the underweight bird was fattened up on a diet that included mealworms. After one week, it transferred to an outdoor enclosure to evaluate its flying capability and it could be seen perching in high branches, calling out in what one volunteer described as “a duck that smoked cigarettes”; in other words, a scratchy clucking voice.

On November 21, the coot was released to a prime water-bird habitat, a large pond filled with favorite coot foods, including aquatic algae, duckweed, eelgrass, wild rice, plus beetles, snails, and tadpoles. The bird happily took to the water, paddling across and diving for a tasty snack.

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