I got one cup of Maxwell House down when I got a call from Rachel at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center outside of Portage. There were reports of an injured swan sitting on the side of the road about a mile south of AWCC. At first I was a little leery about responding. I was just starting to feel better, I've been on wild goose (swan) chases before and this was an hour drive away, and if I found him it was a two person job to catch him. I told her I was going to call U.S.F.&W.
I called U.S.F.&W. and got a message machine. Rachel called back and gave me a little better location of the bird and says she's getting all kinds of reports on it. There's only her and one other person working today, so they can't respond. I called Megan who usually could help me out but I knew she couldn't today. Bird TLC was at an event for Trick or Treat Town and so were most of our volunteers.
Megan suggested that I call Beki. Beki is a relatively new clinic volunteer who also wants to become a presenter. We've been to a couple events together. So I called her and she was excited about getting to go.
We met up at Bird TLC and loaded up with blankets, a kennel and bird drugs. Off we headed to Portage. When we arrived we drove along side of the highway looking for our swan. There was no luck the first pass or on the drive back. I called Rachel to see if there was any updates and she said no. We decided to do another pass but slower. When we started our search again, a van pulled over and asked if we were looking for a swan. We told him we were and he said he was also but having no luck.
We started our search again and withing 20 feet Beki spotted our swan. The 3 of us put a plan of action together and caught the guy. He's a big one, 9.575 KG. Have I told you it was +27°f and then minus whatever the windchill was? It was cold! We checked in with Rachel at AWCC and thanked her for calling him in. Then we headed back to Anchorage.
There was no significant finds during his first exam, but we'll have a DVM check him out on Monday. In the meantime it's R&R, fresh food and a warm mew.