This photo provided by Michelle Handley, Lt. Luke Boucher from the Monmouth Fire Department, left, swims to a loon while Bill Hanson of the Biodiversity Research Institute holds a net during a successful effort to rescue the bird that was trapped on Sand Pond in the Tacoma Lakes Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 in Monmonth, Maine. Credit: Michelle Handley / Via AP

MONMOUTH, Maine — A fire department came to the rescue of a loon on a frozen pond in Maine.

The problem for the birds at this time of the year is that ice can leave them without enough open water they need to take off. Because of the ice, the loon couldn’t take flight from Tacoma Lake.

On Sunday, it took firefighters about two hours to get the bird, which was about a quarter-mile from shore, the Kennebec Journal reported.

“We’ve rescued people,” Monmouth Fire Chief Dan Roy said, “but never a loon.”

Avian Haven, a rehabilitation center for wild birds, reached out to the Monmouth Fire Department for help after keeping an eye on the iced-in loon.

Loons normally depart frozen lakes and spend the winter offshore, but sometimes they wait too late to depart, Diane Winn, Avian’s executive director, said Monday.

Milder winters can delay the icing of ponds and lakes, sometimes well into January. Iced-in loons are usually seen in the first couple weeks of January.

There’s no entity in Maine that rescues loons regularly, but there are operations that provide such services in New Hampshire and Vermont, Winn said.