Champ The Loon: The Undisputed King of Holgate’s Southern Tip

The Champ
The Champ

You might remember this guy from this post. I stumbled upon him at the very southern tip of Holgate on opening day. Having no ability to attempt a rescue right then, I just assumed this bird was gone, or was a goner. Turns out he is a resident of the Tip and has been there for god knows how long. Remember, Holgate has been closed since Sandy.

He manges to haul himself into the water and feed along the edge of the inlet, then haul himself back up.
Champ can’t fly, but he manges to haul himself into the water and feed along the edge of the inlet, then haul himself back up. It’s quite a sight.
You could pet the Champ if you wanted to. He has no fear of humans, or has just surrendered completely.
You could pet the Champ if you wanted to. He has no fear of humans, or has just surrendered completely.

It’s not entirely clear what is wrong with the Champ. He does not appear able to fly. His legs look gimpy. I’ve put in a call to Tom’s River Avian Care to see if maybe the Champ is a candidate for some loving rehab. He has become a friend to everyone who frequents the Tip. It’s hard not to respect this amazing bird.

Champ tries to keep himself looking like the King he is
Champ tries to keep himself looking like the King he is
Then Champ amazed us
Then Champ amazed us
He stood, and he flexed
He stood, and he flexed
He looks like he has working parts
He looks like he has working parts

Someone please tell me we can help this bird. Or maybe, since he apparently has found a way to survive, we should just let him survive. But sadly, I don’t see how he’ll make it through the winter, and he seems like the easiest super-sized meal for a raptor, sitting helplessly all day exposed on the beach. This is another tale from Holgate that could really use a happy ending.

Cheers Champ. You’re the stuff Holgate is made of. Now let’s get you some help. Enjoy a little tear jerking video below.