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Weather better, but loons are still troubled
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May 6, 2013



The bizarre spring weather has improved in the Antigo area, but it is still leaving dozens, perhaps hundreds, of loons stranded following last week’s “fall-out.”

Over the weekend Marge Gibson and the staff at the Antigo-based Raptor Education Group Inc. rescued 49 loons that had literally fallen from the sky, downed by icy rain, sleet and in some cases snow that struck the area Thursday and Friday.

Once on dry land, loons become sitting ducks. They need a long stretch of water to become airborne and a parking lot, field, ditch, small pond or retention basin doesn’t do the trick.

With the flood of loon reports continuing, Gibson said a specialized rescue crew from the Department of Natural Resources is coming north today, equipped to move loons out of retention basins and small ponds and get them back in the air.

It’s tricky work. While loons are fairly easy to capture on land, when they are even in a small body of water they are very elusive, and if an attempt is made to net them, they’ll dive fast and far.

Gibson appealed for a bit of help for her overworked REGI crew. They need cardboard boxes, about 2-feet by 2-feet and at least 18-inches deep, to keep the captured loons quiet until they can recover from any potential injuries and be released on a body of water large enough to allow them adequate take-off space. And they need volunteers to transport the birds and help with some of the other work at the center, which can’t stop caring for other raptors when a loon emergency hits.

Gibson said that if a downed loon is spotted, the best advice is to keep a close eye on it and contact REGI at 715 623-4015 or 715 627-7408. If possible, Gibson suggested covering the bid with a blanket, placing it in a cardboard box and transporting it to the raptor center.


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Marge Gibson retrieves a stranded loon discovered by Alex Crockford and his family near Deerbrook on Friday.
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

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