Encased in Ice
3:35 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Loons Spared From Ice Storms This Year

With the ice slowly melting, loons are starting to return to the Northwoods. 

Loons return to the Northwoods in late April to find a nesting site.
Loons return to the Northwoods in late April to find a nesting site.
Credit Mike Baird via https://flic.kr/p/JAwGP

Though this winter has been long, one wildlife rehabilitator says it’s been much better for loons than last year.

Marge Gibson from the Raptor Education Group remembers that last spring she treated dozens of loons that had been caught in ice storms while in flight. 

“And they became encased in the ice – and actually like an airliner, you know airliners are deiced.  Well loons do the same thing.  It becomes like a cocoon around them of ice, and they’re unable to move their wings. And basically they missile down to the ground and usually crash.”

Gibson says she hasn’t seen any of that type of injury in loons this year.

Typically loons will migrate in late April.  If they don’t find open water, they may turn around and fly back.