The Ruddy Duck you see in the background of the photo above was brought to California Wildlife Center in Malibu late last month with a laceration on the right ventral wing.
A few days after its wound was cleaned and sutured, the bird was transferred to International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles center to receive continued medical treatment and antibiotics for the injury, which had completely healed by June 19. The duck also went through the waterproofing process while in care — crucial for any bird that inhabits marshes, as Ruddy Ducks do.
Here, the duck is released at Ballona Wetlands, one of the few remaining wetlands in the Los Angeles basin and a key stopover point for migratory birds. Christopher Taylor, one of our past Photographers in Focus honorees, has photographed an array of species that call Ballona Wetlands home (or at least a rest stop en route elsewhere in the world).
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) profile at AllAboutBirds.org