WILTON — A loon found in Wilson Lake with fishing line wrapped around its beak has recovered from the ordeal and was returned to the lake Saturday.

The loon was greeted at the lake by another loon.

It was taken to Avian Haven, a wild bird rehabilitation center in Freedom after being caught Aug. 3 by Maine Game Warden Dan Christiansen. 

The loon’s mouth was cut from the fishing line, but it did not ingest either of the two sinkers on the line, one of which was lead, Diane Winn of Avian Haven said last week. If it had eaten the lead sinker, it likely would have been poisoned.

Christiansen had made several attempts to find and capture the bird so Winn suspected the loon had not eaten for approximately a week when it arrived at the center.

“It was a very peaceful, easy return,” Nancy Prince of Wilton said Monday. “It was not agitated, but seemed very comfortable to be back in the water.”

This time, it was a happy ending — but the message is that this wouldn’t have happened if fishermen would take care of their fishing lines, she said.

Friends of Wilson Lake furnish a receptacle for used fishing lines near the boat launch at the foot of the lake, she said.

Prince noticed the loon Aug. 2 in a cove on the eastern shore. As she watched it, she thought something was wrong as it kept violently shaking its head. 

During a nap, the bird drifted closer to her and she could see the fishing line wrapped around its beak, she said.

She then learned of Christiansen’s attempts to locate it and talked with Winn of Avian Haven. 

Christiansen returned the next morning to search again for the bird. An Avian Haven volunteer, Kate Weatherby and Prince also attempted to find the loon. He found the bird and was able to net it. Weatherby took it to the center, she said.

Christiansen came back Saturday on his own time for the bird’s release, Prince said.

After entering the water, another loon met up with the bird, perhaps its mate, said Tony Nazar, a local nature photographer. 

Nazar documented the return with photos, Prince said.

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