Loon Project

Loon lovers: here's a  chance to help your favorite Northwoods bird. Project LoonWatch at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College in Ashland is looking for volunteers to help them with a bird count next month.

Project Loonwatch Coordinator Erica LaMoine...

"....the Wisconsin Loon Population survey is going to be on July 18 and we need volunteers to check pre-selected lakes between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. They can go to our website to see a map of those lakes and sign up to volunteer...."

Mike Baird via https://flic.kr/p/JAwGP

A researcher working in the Northwoods has found evidence that loons age.  Scientists haven’t been able to demonstrate this until now because of how long loons live. 

Chapman University’s Walter Piper has been studying loon behavior for the past twenty two years, through research in Oneida County called the Loon Project.

Mitch Mode

A conference on loons this weekend put the spotlight on citizen involvement in scientific research. 

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of Antigo’s Raptor Education Group says the two-day Loon Symposium was unique in including citizens that collect observational data on loons.

“They are providing such a huge benefit to loon observation, and even giving this information back to the researchers.  And that to me was so exciting to see.” 

Mitch Mode

As many of us in the Northwoods are being driven crazy by mosquitoes, loons are being harassed by blackflies. 

High numbers of loons are having trouble staying on their nests this year due to a surge in a certain kind of black fly that only targets loons.  

Walter Piper, a researcher from Chapman University who has been studying loons in the Northwoods for twenty two years, says it’s the most abandoned nests he’s ever seen.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Piper about what that means for the loon population.