2016 Year in Review: Peg Leinbach, Volunteer

It’s time to look back on 2016! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2016 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to respond to a call from a woman who had found a bird in a window-well of her basement. She described it as a large bird, about the size of a large duck and it had a long pointed bill.

When I arrived at her home she took me around to the back of her house and pointed to the “duck” which turned out to be a beautiful Common Loon! I asked the woman how she had found it and learned that it had been pecking at her basement window. She assumed that it was injured because it did not leave the window-well. Loons are very challenged to walk on land due to the shape of their bodies and the placement of their legs, which are used almost exclusively for swimming. In addition, loons are not designed to take flight from the land. Once they have landed on land (big mistake) they must somehow find water to be able to take off and fly. If this loon was not injured, it was imperative to get this bird to a body of water so it could swim or fly in its natural home.

I took the loon to the Wildlife Center; after evaluation by Dr. Ernesto, the loon was declared unharmed and was released the next day at a lake. For me, this was a very happy transport experience because it had such a happy ending. However, I am still trying to figure out how that gorgeous loon ended up in that window-well!!!


Keep checking the Wildlife Center's blog for more year-end posts this week!