During the last week of August, on an evening walk along Clam Beach, a McKinleyville resident saw a dark clump of seaweed at the surf line. As he got closer, he thought, “No, those are feathers.” And then at last, “those feathers are breathing!”
The young Raven (Corvus corax) was thoroughly soaked, immobilized by hypothermia (very low body temperature).
Fortunately, since it was late in the day, Lynda Stockton, who runs the stranding hotline for the North Coast Marine Mammal Center in Crescent City was nearby. Lynda, also of McKinleyville, regularly walks the beaches of Humboldt County, checking on stranded Seals and Sea lions that have been called in by the public. In her beach work, Lynda often finds struggling seabirds, bringing them to Humboldt Wildlife Care Center when she does.
Lynda took the bird back to her house for the evening. She told us, “he was totally down, unresponsive, soaking wet, only breathing.” Lynda kept him (we don’t actually know the sex of the bird) warm through the night and brought him to our Bayside clinic in the morning.
Raven gets full exam prior to release.
At the inital exam, 12 hours after being pulled from the surf, the Raven’s body temperature was back to normal, but still he was unsteady on his feet – we discovered that the bird was molting in a fresh set of feathers and that he was a young, no more than a year old.
Residual neurological problems after such a close brush with death are normal. We provided fluids, vitamins, a dose of a mild pain relieving/ anti-inflammatory drug and a healthy diet of fish, fruit, seed and insects. Within a day, the Raven was standing normally and ready for an outside aviary.
Checking feathers and wing function at his release evaluation.
After four days we gave another complete exam. Lynda Stockton was able to be on hand. She was astonished at his recovery.
Six days later we released the Raven, hopefully wiser now, back to his habitat. We invited to Lynda to join us. She called him Edgar. We called him free.
Lynda Stockton of the North Coast Marine Mammal Center (right) and Elissa Blair, Bird Ally X staff member, let the Raven out of the box back at Clam Beach.
Get me out of here!
[Right now we are striving to meet our Summer busy season expenses. Any thing helps. Please donate what you can, $5, $25, $50, $250, $500 or more! Thank you for your support!]
The young bird swept away from the beach area and back toward the trees across the highway, an area know for Raven families.
In only seconds, the Raven put some considerable distance between his rescuers and his future!
Somewhere over there… a young Raven tells his friends and families an amazing story of life, close calls, and what a cage means. Chilling!
Our last glimpse
Working together with other environmental and wildlife welfare organizations is an important part of meeting our mission. We are grateful to call the good people who operate the North Coast Marine Mammal Center our friends and colleagues. They help us get our job done!
And of course, we are grateful to you, for providing the resources we need to meet our mission, of protecting the wild and caring for the injured and orphaned wild animals of the beautiful Redwood Nation.
Thank you for being a part of this life-saving work!
(All photos: Laura Corsiglia/BAX)