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Rare loon rescued in Minnesota

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Thursday, February 27, 2014, 3:57 PM -

When this red-throated loon was rescued from a field in Minnesota's Isanti County, the outlook was grim.

He was exhasted, hadn't eaten and was probably settling down to die.

Now, he's recuperating at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota. His caretakers say the once little loon is fattening up nicely. 

But the fact that he was in Minnesota at all is a wonder, as this is the first time a red-throated loon has been spotted in Minnesota in February.


RELATED: Toxins in the Great Lakes harming piping plover birds


The loons spend their summers breeding in the Arctic circle and winter along the coasts and in the Great Lakes -- but with the Great Lakes all but fully covered in ice this year, open water around is hard to find. 

This loon likely came west toward Isanti County in search of just that.

Once healthy enough for travel, the loon will be sent to a facility in New Jersey and will eventually be released back into open waters.

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No one, including the girls who shot the video, could have imagined what they were about to see

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