Monday, November 7, 2011

Duck, Duck…Scoter!

On November 4th, an adult male scoter was transferred to VINS from rehabilitator Catherine Greenleaf in Lyme, NH. We know the scoter is a male because he is entirely black with a multi-colored bill that looks like candy corn. He also makes pipping and whistling contact calls that are particular to male scoters, and that melt the hearts of the VINS staff!

He was originally admitted into rehab because he had flown into a gas station. He had blood in his nostrils and is too weak to hold his head up. We are tube-feeding him three times daily with watered down cat food and offering him live fish and snails, which so far he
hasn’t shown any interest in. We are also giving him Metacam and Baytril to minimize any internal swelling and infection.

Black scoters typically summer in Northern Alaska and Canada,
and winter throughout the entire Western and Eastern coastlines of Canada and the U.S. Rarely are they found inland. In the wild, these birds dive up to 40 feet to eat crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic plants. Like many ducks, scoters keep their wings partially open during dives to help them paddle and steer.

Hopefully this little guy can get back his strength, begin eating on his own, and be released along the Maine coastline to meet up with his flock!

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