LONGPORT — An injured loon found on the beach here Dec. 27 was rescued and is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to the efforts borough employees and good Samaritans.
Borough Hall received a phone call Wednesday from someone who had discovered an injured bird on the beach at 23rd Avenue, acting Municipal Clerk Matt Conlon said in an email to The Current Friday.
The bird was found by a woman walking her dog. She called her aunt and uncle, Jim and Donna Daniels of Northfield, who volunteer in various capacities related to injured wildlife in the area, Conlon said, and the couple came down to the beach.
Animal Control of South Jersey was called, but they said they could do nothing due to the protected species status of shorebirds.
“Because all coastal birds are considered protected, they could not help,” Conlon said.
Conlon contacted the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife, who said they did not take care of coastal birds, but left their care up to volunteer hospitals, he said.
Conlon then called the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford, an organization that operates an animal refuge and wildlife rehabilitation hospital in the Pinelands. They said they would treat the bird, but someone would have to bring it to them.
“Chris Berenotto and Joseph McCue of Longport’s Public Works Department trapped the bird and transported it off the beach in a box into the waiting arms of Jim and Donna Daniels, who volunteered to transport the wounded animal to Medford,” Conlon said.
The Daniels drove the loon to Cedar Run.
“Turns out the little fella had a hook in its throat and a broken wing. Per Mr. and Mrs. Daniels, the bird is expected to make a full recovery,” Conlon said.
"As this was on the ocean side, I suppose the loon became tangled up with a boat fishing for striper and drifted in," he said. "It was right at the high-tide water line."
He called him "Lucky the Longport Loon."