Apologies for the gap in updates: when life kicks into high gear, it GOES. (Bonus: this time it resulted in two 'life' airports, one 'life' state, one 'life' birder and two 'life' Snowy Owls! Matt got Red-throated Loon for TX and a repaired vehicle.)
On to the Merg... (Please start here if you're new to the thread!)
Last we checked on the Merg, it was December and she had her first batch of whole fish. Scales and bones and improved alertness and energy... and her first major bath. I missed the first ~30 seconds of it, but it was intense!
It was quite the bath. And there was more of it.
...and for the first time, we could truly see the beginning of the proverbial end. The end of her time in our tub. Her time in rehab. She wasn't a decoy, a lethargic lump of feathers and flesh waiting to return to the earth.
She became a dragon.
This was a day or two later:
That is a bird probing boundaries. We raised the water level to encourage more diving.
We subsequently lowered the water level to discourage escape attempts from the tub.
Oh... and did we mention preening? Feather maintenance is important!