Avian Haven posted this on Facebook yesterday. The Loon was up in the Trout Hole past Chaney’s Narrows. Doug and Lake Warden Dale tried unsuccessfully to capture the Loon on Thursday. But Doug got her early Friday. Way to go Doug!
COLO 2418 Megunticook Lake
Another Common Loon arrived at Avian Haven yesterday, this one not as lucky as the Partridge Lake loon we posted earlier today. This adult loon was getting iced-in on Megunticook Lake, as reported to us late Thursday afternoon by Doug Gilson. At the time, the loon still had just enough open water to evade capture, but overnight temperatures were headed for sub-zero. Doug says he didn’t sleep well that night, but he was up at dawn to look for the loon again. He found her resting on top of the ice, close to shore, and was able to capture and transport her to Avian Haven.
We found no obvious injuries so we were puzzled as to why this adult bird had lingered too long on the lake. We gave her a few minutes in the pool to swim and drink, then we took an x-ray. We were horrified to discover that the loon had ingested lead fishing gear! We also did blood work, and her blood lead level was off the scale of our screening instrument. In the x-ray, you can see several pieces of hook, but the lead sinker is not as easy to see among the pebbles in her gizzard. The blue arrow on the x-ray photo shows the location of the sinker. We were able to remove it by gastric lavage yesterday afternoon, and gave her a chelating agent to help lower the lead level. But with a lead level that high, prognosis is guarded. We’ll continue with supportive care, while she alternates between resting on a soft mat near the Pool Hall heater and having some swim time in a heated pool.
Thank you, Doug Gilson, for rescuing this loon – you were her angel!