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(Aechmophorus occidentalis). Patient Number 23-1573.
Date of admission: Oct 8, 2023.
Reason for admission: Physical Injury.
The Western Grebe, a striking waterbird found in North America, is known for its elegant appearance and intriguing behaviors. With their long necks and distinct black caps, male and female Western Grebes appear quite similar. Both exhibit black caps on their heads and sleek white bodies, creating a sharp contrast that makes them easily identifiable. During the breeding season, their eyes become strikingly crimson, adding to their captivating appearance.
These birds are predominantly aquatic, inhabiting freshwater lakes and large ponds during their breeding season while shifting to coastal areas and bays during winter. Western Grebes are renowned for their intricate courtship rituals, which include synchronized water dances where pairs engage in head-shaking displays. They build floating nests in reed beds and marshes, providing a secure environment for their young. During the breeding season, Western Grebes typically lay 2 to 4 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about 22 to 24 days. After hatching, the chicks are covered in down and can swim shortly after birth, although they remain dependent on their parents for feeding and protection.
This Western Grebe was discovered grounded near the roadside, and upon evaluation, it was determined to have a left radius fracture (a bone in the wing). The good news is that the fracture is showing signs of healing daily, thanks to proper alignment and ongoing medication and antibiotics. To minimize stress on the fracture and support the healing process, the bird's access to water has been limited for the time being.
Our dedicated team is optimistic that, with rest, regular check-ups, and radiographs to monitor the healing progress, the Western Grebe will soon be ready for water testing at our facility. After which this resilient bird will be released back into its natural habitat!