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January 12, 2012

Western Grebe Rescued by WiLDCOAST Staff in Imperial Beach...Project Wildlife Saves the Day!

Project Wildlife's dedicated volunteers give injured, orphaned and sick wild animals a second chance at life
Our injured Western Grebe is in good hands at Project Wildlife!!


On January 11 WiLDCOAST staff rescued an injured Western Grebe near the Imperial Beach Pier. The little fella washed up on shore full of life, yet unable to fly or walk.

Western grebes are best known for their courtship ceremonies. These displays are well documented and have been described as the Rushing Ceremony and Weed Ceremony (Nuechterlein and Storer 1982). During the Rushing Ceremony, two birds swim side by side and then lunge forward with the body completely out of water to run rapidly across the water for up to 20 meters. The wings are lifted but not extended. The run ends with a dive.

The Weed Ceremony occurs late in pair-formation. The grebes usually stare at one another while in an erect posture with the crest raised and bill held nearly horizontal. As the display proceeds the posture becomes more rigid. From this neck-stretched posture, one or both of the grebes suddenly dives to return to the surface with weeds still in the erect posture. When both grebes have weeds, they approach each other with feet churning the water to rise into a vertical posture with most or all of their bodies out of water. The necks are outstretched and the bills raised above the horizontal. The grebes move slowly forward, sometimes spiraling, while their heads rotate from side to side. The display ends when one grebe discards its weeds. For detailed descriptions, see Storer and Nuechterlein (1992).

We brought our injured Grebe to San Diego's own Project Wildlife, a community based NGO working for conservation, rehabilitation and education. 

"Since 1972, Project Wildlife's dedicated volunteers have given injured, orphaned and sick wild animals a second chance at life. This commitment to helping wild animals has grown tremendously and Project Wildlife is now one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation organizations in the country. Our medical staff and volunteers now assist over 10,000 birds and mammals representing over 320 species each year."

If you encounter injured wildlife in San Diego County you can call Project Wildlife at 619-225-9453

Injured wildlife can be brought to their facilities at:

Wildlife Triage Center
887 1/2 Sherman Street
San Diego, CA 92110 
Open 7 days a week
(except Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day)
Staff/Volunteer hours: 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Drop-off area is open 24/7.

North County Wildlife Triage Center
County of San Diego, Department of Animal Services
2481 Palomar Airport Road
Carlsbad, CA 92011 
Closed for the season, re-opens mid-April 2012