A red-throated diver was released from a net it was illegally caught in at Loch Carloway in Lewis.
The RSPB Scotland praised water bailiffs — who freed the bird from the netting — on Monday for the speedy action taken which saved the bird's life.
RSPB spokesman Alan Tissiman said: "Illegal netting is a threat to both fish stocks and wild birds. Red-throated divers are just one of a number of species of birds that can easily get caught and drowned. This red-throated diver was a very lucky bird in being rescued by the swift action of the bailiffs. Others, unfortunately, will not be so lucky."
Malcolm McPhail, volunteer superintendant for the Western Isles Fishery Board, said: "Unfortunately this activity is a threat to many of the wildlife species that the Western Isles are famous for. The use of gill nets is illegal under the Salmon Act of 2003 and they can impact negatively on birds, marine mammals and, even, basking sharks.
"It is in no-one’s interest for illegal and unregulated activity to threaten their populations. The Fisheries Board will continue to do its utmost to preserve the health of the rivers and lochs so that we have sustainable numbers of both fish and birds for future generations to enjoy."