WHEN RESCUED: November 27, 2011.
WHAT HAPPENED: Juneau residents Dan and Kathleen Wayne, and their daughter Nelli, reported a great blue heron apparently in distress near the Douglas Highway in West Juneau. Within a few minutes, volunteers with the Juneau Raptor Center responded to the site and captured a great blue heron. It made no attempt to fly away when approached.
INJURIES: Initial examination revealed a bird that was very dehydrated.
CARE: Stretch was given subcutaneous fluids for several days and kept in a large dog kennel. On Dec. 1, the bird was given one smelt that he did not regurgitate (a common reaction) and following that, more smelt. As of Dec. 4, the bird had gained enough strength to be moved to the flight mew.
RELEASE: Stretch will be with JRC until spring when there is again an abundant supply of available food.\
UPDATE on Dec. 18: According to volunteers with the JRC, this bird has made great progress. He is flying more and sits on the four-foot perch. He also eats up to ten herring a day.
MORE ABOUT THE GREAT BLUE HERON: These birds can be found year round in Southeast Alaska. Great blue herons are the largest of the North American herons with long legs, a sinuous neck and a thick, dagger-like bill. Head, chest and wing plumes give a shaggy appearance. In flight, the great blue heron curls its neck into a tight “S” shape; its wings are broad and rounded and its legs trail well beyond the tail.
• Message phone for the Juneau Raptor Center, 586-8393; emergency pager, 790-5424; or for more information about the JRC, go online to juneauraptorcenter.org.