Case Studies

Case Study 1 - Healing a Heron

1 - The Rescuers

Not your average neighborhood kids. Unless you live in Bayport, Minnesota. Thanks to these children and a few adults, a Great Blue Heron survived.

2 - The Diagnostics

Emaciated and barely able to stand, the young Great Blue Heron was transported to WRC where the med staff gave it a thorough exam. Not finding any fractures, wounds or other obvious injuries, the next step was to draw blood.

3 - The Diagnostic Result

Its blood showed an elevated white cell count (large, solid purple cells) and a blood parasite.

4 - After Treatment

This is the heron's blood a couple days prior to release. The white blood cells (large solid purple circles) have dramatically decreased.

Now that the heron has a normal blood cell count and is maintaining a healthy weight, it's ok'd by the vets for release.

5 - Fly Away Home


On a sunny day, more than three weeks after the heron was admitted to WRC, its rescuers and Deb W., who with her husband had been catching sunfish and bringing them to the Center daily for the heron, wished the heron well as it returned to the St. Croix River.

What an exciting day for everyone involved in this wonderful story. Many thanks to Deb W. again for keeping us stocked with fish and for letting us use several of her photos in this case study.

Other Case Studies

  • Case Study 1 - Healing a Heron
  • Case Study 2 - Kingfisher with a Luxation
  • Case Study 3 - Rehabilitating a Gunshot Swan
  • Case Study 4 - An Injured Sandhill Crane
  • Case Study 5 - One Lucky Duck
  • Case Study 6 - Treating a Blanding's Turtle
  • Case Study 7 - A Surprising Find in a Juvenile Herring Gull
  • Case Study 8 - Hook, Line and Sinker - Spiny Softshell Turtle
  • Case Study 9 - Coyote caught in a Trap