One of my very favorite birds is the common loon. It is a very large, heavy bird strikingly patterned in black and white. Unable to walk on land, but in the water, it swims and dives with grace. A common loon may plunge to depths exceeding 150 feet for food, leaving not even a ripple.
Over much of North America, the common loon population is declining. Loss of habitat is partly to blame, but contamination of Northern lakes and oil spills along coastal waters are also factors. Lead sinkers used by fishermen also share the blame.
So far, we have been very fortunate in successfully releasing all of the loons brought to Wildlife Rehab Center (WRC) There was no problem finding a lake on which to release them - they were welcome everywhere. The cry of the loon is like no other sound in nature, so typi-flying the great American wilderness.
All loons have been successfully released except the last one brought to us in August. He came in fragile and emaciated late on a Saturday night. Everything humanely possible was done to save that most beautiful bird. We watched him go down very quickly and die.
Monday morning, he was taken to Dr. Bennett at the Animal Clinic. What when wrong? What more could have been done to save him? The x-rays gave us the answer - he had a stomach full of lead sinkers and had died from toxic poisoning!
A week ago, WRC received a call on a loon in Muskegon; weak, and lethargic, he had died as he was being brought to us. Another case of lead poisoning? Maybe.
Please, please - if you know any fishermen who are still using lead sinkers, beg them to stop. There are alternatives.
Once again, another problem caused by humans!
Support your local wildlife centers! It's more important than you know.
A little something about us...
- m & m photography
- Kentwood, Michigan, United States
- My husband and I have been together for twenty two years now and are still just as happy as we were in the beginning. We have similar interests and one in particular is that we love animals and taking care of them. Mike and I volunteer our time with our local Wildlife Rehab Center (WRC) rehabbing squirrels mostly. Baby squirrels are so adorable and a rare site to most. We have two wonderful children. Which most of the time they totally think their mom is a weirdo. LOL:)
- ▼ February (8)