Loon in Distress – Morgan to the Rescue on Batchewana Bay


Morgan Errington, shared a lovely story about a wayward Loon with Superior Media today. And what a ‘looney’ story it is.Morgan Errington, who is studying Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at University of Guelph was certainly the right person to spot a Common Loon in distress on the ice cover, Batchewana Bay, Sunday.

The tote was used as a secure overnight setup for the unexpected visitor. (photo by Morgan Errington)

“This loon decided to glide in, in front of our house on the thick ice in Batchewana Bay yesterday evening (Feb.21,2021). Morgan’s father, Albert Errington (Errington’s Wilderness Island Resort) was also part of the rescue.

It was trying to scoot around to take off but couldn’t so we put it in a tote with lots of cushioning to protect its keel and let it rest and regain its strength. The video below is from Morgan’s collection. “Breakfast in our bathtub this morning (sorry mom )”, shared Morgan.

While this was happening, we were in extensive contact with several wildlife rehabs and loon rescue centres to which the final decision and suggestion by them was to release it this morning as it was lively, aggressive, good body condition. The loon didn’t appear to have any visible injuries. So after feeding it up this morning with lots of minnows, we drove it to the open part of the St. Mary’s River so it could do what it needs to do to survive!

So after feeding it up this morning with lots of minnows, we drove it an hour away to the open part of the St. Mary’s River so it could do what it needs to do to survive!

Loons cannot stand or walk on land and need a long runway of water to take off successfully. In addition, they live and hunt in the water. This is why we had to relocate it to the only open nearby water at the St. Mary’s River.

Loons are not supposed to be here this time of year. This friend should have left for its Southern vacation last fall. Luckily this area of water at the St. Mary’s river was open and will stay open now throughout the rest of the winter. Its ‘looney’ companions will begin returning to the area in around 6 weeks, but for now it gets to enjoy its new exclusive fishing grounds!

Errington said, a person may notice the loon’s colouring is different from their striking summer patterns. Loons moult after summer and grow in this greyish-brown colour for the winter months.

Morgan further adds, “Whenever you think you see wildlife in danger, the best thing to do is call a wildlife rehabilitation facility ASAP. Wildlife can be very finicky with their needs and sometimes doing what we think is best can actually do more harm. Seek out these sources that are well educated and informed about wildlife. Even if you cannot get hold of the closest wildlife rehabber, contact any accredited wildlife rehab centre and they will be able to provide you with wonderful, useful advice.”

Please keep an eye out for this special friend if you’re around the river.

The Common Loon was spotted already today, and appears to be doing very well this morning. Having a nap off Clergue Park, St. Mary’s River. ( photo via Stan Phippen) Mr. Phippen is hoping to get more pictures later today.

Stan Phippen said, “The loon was sure lucky to have Morgan rescue it as it would have died. Loons can only lift off of water and it is not uncommon to find them on highways in the spring as they confuse it with open water ~  there are not very many lakes open for loons to land on in the north, in the spring. To be clear it is not a rare event but not very common either. These birds do not do well on land.”

What a lovely story ~ Thank you Morgan Errington et al.

Morgan is studying to be a Veterenarian ~ She is currently in her third year of Vet school at the University of Guelph Morgan Errington has also held a volunteer position working with non-releasable raptors for 3 years. She told Superior Media that the loon rescue was a thrilling experience. Enjoy the video of the release along the St. Mary’s River at the top of the article.

Talk about the perfect person for the ‘looney’ rescue. The universe provides.