REGI seeing an increase in injured loons

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:46 PM CDT
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ANTIGO, Wis. (WSAW) - Loons are starting to migrate to their summer homes, but the journey is proving dangerous for some unlucky birds. With some freak weather occurrences, some of the birds are starting to get ice on their wings once they reach the highest altitude.

“Ice sort of encases them when they’re flying. Then they can’t fly anymore so they fall,” Raptor Education Group Inc. Founder and Director Marge Gibson said.

The injured birds appear as the flocks go through the area. People in the public have been noticing the down birds, and have been reaching out to REGI about the injured animals.

“I got over 30 calls within a few hours afterward. Some were calling on birds that were already deceased some were there but were not able to capture them,” Gibson said.

The loons get full treatment before heading back to the while to make sure they are fully healthy. Treatments can include anything from X-rays to antibiotics.

“When they come in we really like to do everything, to make sure there are no fractures that we’re not seeing, that there’s no bleeding internally,” Gibson said.

Because of the leg shape they have, loons are unable to walk. So if you see one clearly injured in the middle of the road. They need your help to move, otherwise, they’re a sitting duck.

“We want to make sure we can get them healed and back into the wild as quickly as possible,” Gibson said.

REGI has a full plan of how to handle injured animals and what you can keep an eye out for on their website here.

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