21 December: Vehicle-struck female Common Merganser brought to us; body mass is good, legs are good, wings are good, rudder may or may not be good, but some pretty massive head trauma means survival odds are questionable. Common Merganser is not a big deal for Balmorhea, but given the lack of water in Brewster Co, she's a bit out of her element. Given that she was found on the side of Hwy 90, very out of her element. Fingers crossed that she'll stabilize enough for transportation to rehabber (and fingers crossed that our rehabber will recover from the flu in time to accept the merg!)
Photos by Matt York:
There's definitely an issue with the left eye, but for the time being, crusted closed is not a bad thing.
Both wings are in good shape, legs are kicky, plumage is in pristine condition (other than the ruffling from transportation).
Long road ahead - no pun intended - for this Mergus. Fingers crossed that she'll pull through.
*** Texas is one of those states where you need permits for even transporting injured wildlife, so
we're following rehabber's instructions and stabilizing the bird as best as possible so that she can be transported with less risk (to her). Some states have a 'Good Samaritan Clause' for folks bringing injured wildlife to rehabbers - we wish TX would get on board with that.
* post is not chronologically accurate, seeing as it's 2014 now.