Monongalia County Group Releases Stranded Loon on Cheat Lake - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Monongalia County Group Releases Stranded Loon on Cheat Lake

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Cheat Lake -

Common Loons are in the midst of migrating from the northeast to Atlantic shores right now, and one got stuck in north central West Virginia.

The birds are water birds, and are as useless on land as a speed boat.

"They do great swimming, they're fast swimmers, great divers, but on land they can't really walk at all. They can't stand and most importantly can't take off," said Dr. Jesse Fallow of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.

And that's exactly why the ACCA was called to help.

On Wednesday the ACC received a phone call from Lewis County that an injured water bird had been found in Upshur County.

Crash landed and stranded on land the ACCA says the Loon most likely mistook ice or wet pavement for water, a mistake that could have cost it, its life.

"If the bird had not gotten to us, and gotten back to a body of water, it would have been out of luck, and likely predated by domestic dogs or a large predator like a coyote or something like that," said Dr. Fallon.

The conservation center worked quickly.

They retrieved the bird and after examining it, decided it was no worse for the ware and released it on Cheat Lake Thursday morning.

The save is just one of many it will do this year.

"A lot of people believe that if you see an injured bird in the wild you should leave it alone and let nature take its course," said ACCA Volunteer Walker Roberts. "My view is that the reason that bird is there 90 percent of the time is because of humane related activities and we should help them any way they can."

In its first year as an organization the Avian Center admitted over 130 birds and expects the help even more in 2013.

"It's great to see a bird come in injured and then released back into the wild," said Dr. Fallon. "But what we're really trying to do is help people appreciate birds, and there by appreciate and just have a better appreciation for the world around them."

The ACCA expects the Loon to stay on the lake for several days. If you find an injured bird you can call the ACCA at 304.906-5438.