more grounded Red-necked Grebes

Dave Martin dave.martin at
Tue Jan 20 15:27:34 EST 2004

My report about 2  Red-necked Grebes grounded north of Ingersoll in the 
last few days  has already stimulated one email about other grounded 
Red-necked Grebes in the last week or so.  Three were "recently" brought 
into the vet college in Guelph and [via that correspondent] a few were 
brought into a rehab centre in Toronto "mainly last week".  I have attached 
that email from Ady Gancz who made some additional interesting 
comments.  If I receive more emails I will collate them and send them out 
in a package.

Dave Martin
Harrietsville, ON
dave.martin at

>Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 14:57:33 -0500
>From: agancz at
>To: Dave Martin <dave.martin at>
>Subject: Re: grounded Red-necked Grebes
>I am an avian vet working in the vet college in Guelph. Our Wild Bird clinic
>recently saw 3 "grounded" RNGs. None had physical injuries but had
>abnormalities on blood work consistant with muscle damage and one was
>emaciated. Last year we had 4 RNGs with similar presentation. They all 
>come in
>within 24-48h typically and after that we may not see one for a long time.
>I think temperature and visibility conditions have a lot to do with it. 
>wildlife rehab center also got a few recently (we are talking about last week
>Hope this bit of data is helpful.
>Ady Gancz
>Ady Gancz, DVM, MSc
>DVSc student Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine
>The Ontario Veterinary College
>U of Guelph
>Quoting Dave Martin <dave.martin at>:
> > Ross Snider of Tamarack Raptor Rehab Centre in Ingersoll has received two
> > calls on grounded Red-necked Grebes in the past couple of days.  The first
> > was a bird grounded in Listowel on Jan 17.  The bird had to be
> > euthanized.  The second bird was a picked up in Stratford on Jan 19 and
> > released into Trout Creek which stays open in winter and is downstream 
> from
> > Wildwood Dam near Stratford.
> >
> > These groundings are consistent with calls Ross has received over the 
> years
> > in mid to late January when the upper Great Lakes start to freeze, which
> > depends, of course, on prolonged cold spells and varies from year to year
> > and sometimes not at all.   In the October 2003 OFO News, Ron Tozer wrote
> > about this phenomena and attributed the grounding of  Red-necked Grebes in
> > early winter (Dec to early Feb) to the "frozen out theory".  The reasoning
> > behind this theory is that some Red-necked Grebes overwinter on the upper
> > great lakes, likely away from shore or in previously unknown
> > locations.   When the lakes begin to freeze they leave in desperation and
> > fly in almost any direction to look for open water. Many are grounded on
> > land when they run out of steam  and are often found on roads and parking
> > lots which they may mistake for water. Enough have been noted over the
> > years [a few most winters and many some winters] to stimulate Ron's recent
> > article, but as he states, there is not yet enough quantitative 
> evidence to
> > solve this mystery.
> >
> > Dave Martin/Ross Snider
> > Harrietsville, ON
> > dave.martin at
> >
> > Dave Martin <dave.martin at>
> >
> > Visit for information on leaving
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Dave Martin <dave.martin at>

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