Marge Gibson

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.” 

Public Domain Images

An Antigo wildlife rehabilitator says the recent case of several ospreys dead in Bayfield County is a rare situation.

Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says last month her rehab center took in an adult male osprey that had been shot in the wing.  Authorities soon found the ospreys’ abandoned nest and its two chicks. 

“When the bird didn’t come back, the youngsters started calling loudly, doing food begging calls.  They were not old enough to leave the nest by themselves, and finally ended up jumping from the nest just in desperation to be fed.”

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

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

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. 

Ron Holmes / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Spring migration means more birds arriving in the Northwoods, including eagles. 

DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz says by some estimates, car strikes represent the leading cause of eagle deaths.

Holtz explains that eagles typically take flight from high up in a tree.  But in times of low food availability they turn to roadside carcasses which can put eagles in the path of danger.   

Marc Evans

Deer aren’t the only wildlife having a hard time finding food this winter.  

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says she’s worried about many of the region’s birds.  She says the rehab center near Antigo is seeing birds like red-tailed hawks, chickadees and even robins.    

“What is unusual is the way that they’re coming in.  People are finding them really not moving very much – they’re kind of in a hypothermic state.  Their breathing is slowed, their heartrate is slowed, and they go into almost a torpor state.” 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

This Father’s Day weekend, we take a look at a story of model parenting from an unlikely place: the world of birds.  We meet a bald eagle who’s done a remarkable job as a foster father to over a hundred and fifty orphaned chicks.

They call him Amp. 

“People are always surprised when I say we have a foster dad eagle.  And they’re like, “well where’s the mom?” Well, it would be great if we had a mom…but we don’t have a non-releasable mom .  And he does such a great job.”