Loon rescued from roadside

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) - Workers at a state park in western
Kentucky have helped a loon that crash landed onto a highway get
back to its natural habitat.

Audubon Museum curator Alan Gehret, who is also a naturalist,
told The Gleaner that he was startled when two people arrived at
Audubon State Park last week with the bird.

Gehret said it appears the common loon mistook the gleaming, wet
asphalt for a water surface. The birds, which can grow to 3-feet
high, usually dive into waterways to catch food.

Fortunately, Gehret said the bird did not appear to have any
significant injury. A couple of days after arriving at the park, he
said the loon was fishing in a lake and functioning just fine.

Gehret said the loon would have been in trouble if not for the
helpful passers-by. He said larger loons must swim into the wind in
order to get enough velocity to fly away. He said that wasn't
possible on the roadside.

Alan said the common loon is considered a species of "special
concern" because of pollution, and the encroachment of people and
construction in its habitats.

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