Juneau Raptor Center rescues first bird of 2021

A marbled murrelet was treated for head trauma and released

This Marbled Murrelet seabird was found in the waters of Auke Bay Friday looking “stunned.” Volunteers took the bird to the Juneau Raptor Center where it was treated for likely head trauma and released back into the wild. (Courtesy Photo / Juneau Raptor Center)

This Marbled Murrelet seabird was found in the waters of Auke Bay Friday looking “stunned.” Volunteers took the bird to the Juneau Raptor Center where it was treated for likely head trauma and released back into the wild. (Courtesy Photo / Juneau Raptor Center)

Need some good news? The year’s first bird rescued by the Juneau Raptor Center has been treated and successfully returned to the wild.

A marbled murrelet was rescued from Don D. Statter Harbor in Auke Bay Friday, the Juneau Raptor Center said via a Facebook post.

Kathy Benner, Juneau Raptor Center manager, said that a biologist walking along the docks spotted the bird in the water Friday. She called the emergency hotline to report that the bird looked stunned.

“It’s likely he crashed into something. Maybe a boat,” Brenner said in a phone interview Monday.

Suspecting a head injury, volunteers brought the bird to the Juneau Raptor Center where he was treated for likely head trauma.

[Eagle shot off Back Loop Road]

Brenner said that head trauma treatment for birds is similar to the treatment for humans. It includes keeping the bird warm and quiet in a darkened enclosure and administering fluids.

“We only had him one night and he could go back to the wild,” Brenner said.

This is not the first marbled murrelet the center has rescued near Juneau.

Benner said that a similar bird was found on a trail near Montana Creek late last summer.

“These birds usually come to us off boats or cruise ships because they land and can’t take off again,” Benner said, noting that they are primarily seabirds.

According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife video shared by the Juneau Raptor Center, the Marbled Murrelet lives in a range that spans from central California through Oregon and Washington and into Alaska.

“The Marbled Murrelet is a solitary, secretive nester, preferring the mossy boughs of mature coniferous trees in the coastal rainforest,” according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s website.

The fish and game site also notes that the species’ largest populations live in Southeast Alaska.

According to the Alaska Sea Life Center’s website, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers the marbled murrelet a bird of conservation concern in Alaska.

[Authorities investigate fatal shooting of bald eagle]

Found a bird in distress?

If you find a bird in distress, contact the Juneau Raptor Center emergency hotline at 790-5424. Volunteers monitor the line 24 hours a day.

Contact Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

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