Recent resuce @ the Juneau Raptor Center: 'Archie'

Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010

Type of bird: Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica).

Courtesy Of The Jrc
Courtesy Of The Jrc

When discovered: Nov. 12.

What happened: This Barrow's Goldeneye was found sitting in the median of Juneau's Back Loop Road near the University of Alaska Southeast's Rec. Center following a strong southeasterly storm. The bird appeared to be stunned and was far from his preferred open-water habitat. Archie, as he was named, spent his first night with Juneau Raptor Center in a kennel with a tub of water where he heartily ate brine shrimp, mealworms and moistened dry dog food. The next day, Archie was moved to an outdoor mew with two large tubs of water and blue mussels were added to his diet.

Injuries: Volunteers reported no initial obvious injuries. His appetite was good, he swam well and walked well (for a sea duck). But about a week after rescue, the decision was made to send the bird to Anchorage's Bird TLC. X-rays revealed a broken wing.

Care: On Nov. 29, Cindy Palmatier, director of avian care for Bird TLC, said the bird was doing well.

"The little beggar is eating us out of house and home," she said. "He loves chopped clams and feeder goldfish. We were able to get a pin in the wing, and the bird is behaving fairly well. We will do another exam (soon) to evaluate progress."

A follow-up was exam conducted On Dec. 2.

"He's doing great," Palmatier said. "The vet thought there was a nice callus starting to form on the bone already, so we'll keep going with what we've been doing."

Release: Archie is doing well, though release is not currently an option.

More about the Barrow's Goldeneye: This medium-sized diving duck has a large head and chunky body. Whole groups of goldeneyes will dive at the same time. They forage around pilings, and most of their foraging is under water. Barrow's Goldeneyes are aggressive and territorial, even more so than Common Goldeneyes. This bird is primarily found in the western mountain region of North America. It nests farther north than the Common Goldeneye. They are cavity-nesting ducks and typically use forested habitat with mature trees (deciduous or coniferous) that offer suitable nesting cavities. Males have a white with black back and head, and a crescent-shaped white spot on the face. Female Barrow's Goldeneyes have gray bodies, brown heads and yellow eyes.

• Message phone for the Juneau Raptor Center, 586-8393; emergency pager, 790-5424; or for more information about the JRC, go online to juneauraptor

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