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Eddie and me!

Hi Carolinabirders,
	This is a follow up to my previous post and is in regard to the Common
	I was walking briskly to the jetty trying to get to see the eider and
Reddish Egret before the drizzle turned to a more steady rain.  The weather
had been threatening showers all day.  I met a couple from Charlotte who
were coming back from the jetty and said that they looked for the eider but
did not find it, but that there were a number of personal watercraft in the
area.  I debated going on or calling it quits but decided to procede.  I
went to the jetty scanning the edge of the North jetty and looking at all
parts of the south jetty and the inlet in between.  No dice. The drizzle
stopped and the sky lghtened a bit so I prceded to the base of the jetty.
I looked all over the inlet waters and found only a double c.  I then
scanned the birds on the beach beyond the base of the jetty. Lots of terns
and gulls but nothing resembling a duck.  I moved my binocs back from the
beach to an area of wrack and noticed a dark larger form in the debris.  I
set the scope up and sure enough it could be a duck resting on the beach. I
quietly and slowly approached and sure enough it was an eider by the sage
green long bill leading to a small dark beady eye. I approached closer
until I was standing over the eider.  It didn't move just opening its eye
occasionally.  What to do I thought?  It was undoubtedly sick and weak. No
self respecting healthy eider would let a human get within 100 yards of it.  
	Since it has been sick for at least three days and has already dodged two
Peregrines this weekend and with fox known predators in the area, I decided
well maybe he deserves a shot at a second chance. So I threw my sweatshirt
over him picked up my scope to one shoulder and as gently as I could
gathered him up and put him on my chest/shoulder trying to get him to rest
on his belly rather than his chest. He cooperated with this very well only
nipping at my face a little bit.
	We then proceeded to make the trip back to the North Parking Lot.  I had
to stop two times to change shoulders with the scope and eider. He was
really very cooperative at one point resting his bill on my hand.
Occasionally he would squirm and stretch his neck. While walking back I had
to decide what to do with him.  I decided to get to the naturalist and see
where they take injured birds they find.  
	I was able to hold on to the eider with one hand and shoulder and get my
scope and binocs back into the trunk.  While holding Eddie (the eider) we
were on a first name basis by now, I started the car and thank god for
automatic transmission, and off we set towards the headquarters building.
(I told Eddie that he was probably the only common eider to be taking an
auto trip this year) On the way I met Keith Windham the Supt. of the park
and explained the situation.  He advised that they take injured birds to Dr
Sherri Duncan at Murrells Inlet Animal Hospital. 
	So Eddie and me went down bypass 17 with him on my right shoulder and me
stearing.  He began to vocalize softly, a half gratting cooing sound, so I
began to sing.  The same songs I sang to my grandchildren when they were
babies and would fuss at night.  We made the four mile trip in fine shape
and there I stood patiently duck over shoulder. Eddie was very alert now
and looking around.  We brought him to Dr. Duncan and she said she would
gladly see what she could do.  I told her that he probably needs to be
stabilized and then given some suitabale nutrition.  
	I left her with Jim Elliott's number and that Jim and the folks at SC
Center for Birds of Prey would be able to rehab him once he is stabilized
and ready to travel. Once home I gave Jim a heads up and he said that would
be fine.
	This evening the Dr. called to say that it is problematic whether "the
little duck" will make it. The keel breastbone is very visible and he has
not eaten for a few days.  He got some heavy antibiotics, charcoal to
neutalize any toxins and some vitamins.  If he makes it through the night
she plans to tube feed him in the morning. She will call me in the morning.
 If he doesn't make it I plan to give him to Will Post at the Charleston

Jack Peachey