Loons are still feeling the impact from swarms of black flies that drove most pairs from their nests earlier this year. There’s likely to be a 40 percent drop in the number of chicks compared to last year.
Thanks to the black flies, more than two thirds of loons in a study abandoned their first attempt at a nest. Researcher Walter Piper of the Loon Project says even though most have by this time made a second attempt, reproduction is way behind.
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.