Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dec 25--Ancient Murrelet lands in Clearwater

While not a provincial rarity, it's always notable when a murrelet turns up inland and even more so when it is captured alive! This poor fellow was found by Allen Selbee in his backyard in Clearwater. He believes it struck his window before pushing its way penguin-style through some snow before he trapped it and brought it inside. Apparently it was taking some food but no word as to how it's currently doing. Obviously it must have been pretty weak and cold to end up in that position. Will update again soon. Special thanks to Dennis Leonard for getting this report out.

Update: Unfortunately this bird has passed away despite having eaten well upon capture.

Autopsy Report courtesy of Ildiko at the UBC vert museum:

"Cause of death was extreme starvation which can be from malnutrition or extended migration.
The breast muscles had atrophied but more importantly the liver and other internal organs had shrunk to about 1/3 normal size.  In such cases the heart remains the same size or grows slightly."

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