This elegant western grebe was spotted out at Lund Harbour one morning in January. The harbour master had watched it pull itself out of the water onto the boat ramp twice, only to be scared back into the water by boaters.
Grebes spend their entire lives on the water, even building nests on the water, and rarely come ashore, so this behaviour was very suspicious.
Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) asked the harbour master to pick the grebe up if it came back to the ramp, warning her that they are known for stabbing anything that irritates them. She caught it up in a towel and kept it safe in a box until PROWLS arrived.
There was a large wound on the back of its neck, leaving a flap of skin and feathers. One of its toes was also bleeding, leading us to suspect that an otter had tried to make the little bird a snack.
Back at PROWLS, it was given some pain medication and the wound was cleaned and the skin folded over to keep it viable. It went into Westview Veterinary Hospital that same afternoon. Dr. Barnes stitched up the neck and advised us on further treatment.
PROWLS decided to send the grebe to MARS Wildlife Rescue in Courtenay, as they have the facilities and the expertise PROWLS is still lacking, and they love grebes. MARS is confident the little beauty will be back, ready to rejoin her mate soon.