All This Rain Leads To Bizarre Problem With Migratory Waterfowl
I learned something new after seeing a post that our local Wildwoods Rehabilitation organization share about how this local rain has been causing some problems. Some migratory waterfowl such as loons, diving ducks like Lessers, Grebes, Redheads and others need to run across water for a takeoff. It's because of their high wing loading which means their mass to wing area ratio. That's why if you've ever seen a loon take off it seems to skip across the water before it takes flight. It's actually running with it's wings out trying to get enough lift for takeoff. That's usually not a problem, but what happens if a bird has hurt it's legs?
Here's what happens this time of year with a lot of rain like we recently have. Migrating birds heading back north mistake flooded or pooled parking lots as lakes. So they swoop down to land but don't realize the water is just a shallow puddle. They have a hard landing and often injure their bird legs. Then, they aren't able to run and get speed to get back in the air. It's really a bizarre thing you wouldn't think about happening, but it does quite often.
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota shared instructions on what you are to do if you see a bird or group of birds that appears to be injured and cannot fly. Approach them to confirm they cannot fly. Gently toss a towel over them and pick them up. Then transfer them to a container or box that you can close and bring it to your local wildlife rehabilitation place. In our region you could always call Wildwoods at 218-491-3604.