Common Loon is Not so Common
A woman was driving behind a pickup truck the other day when she saw it suddenly swerve onto the shoulder, return to its lane, and keep going. Horrified, she realized the driver of the truck had just run over and instantly killed a mother duck -- right in front of her seven ducklings. She pulled over and scooped up the now-orphaned ducklings and put them in her car. After finding a small box to put them in, she took the babies home until she could bring them to us the next day. What an example of two very different types of people: one who callously runs over an animal just because it’s there, and another who’s an angel to orphaned wildlife, who’s appalled (just as we are) by such a blatant disregard for animals. Accidents are one thing, but his actions – swerving at just the right moment to kill a mother duck – is entirely another. It’s senseless and cruel. We are thankful that this woman, a kind member of the public, was at the right place at the right time. The seven ducklings are currently in our care and will be released when they’re old enough to be on their own. To those of you who also care about wildlife, we are grateful for you. Please find out how you can help us care for orphaned and injured wildlife by clicking here: http://pugetsoundwildcare.com/how-you-can-help.html.
We did what we could for the loon, but unfortunately we found he had died overnight. Out of curiosity, I shot radiographs of the dead Loon and was surprised at what I found. The loon had ingested a fishing lure with a lead sinker. There was no fishing hook, but the lead was enough to slowly poison this bird and cause his untimely death.
According to a Washington State Fish & Wildlife publication ingestion of lead fishing gear is the single largest cause of mortality in Washington’s Loons accounting for 39% of all moralities in the state.