Walter Piper

Long-Lived Birds
1:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Loons Show Signs of Aging

Data from the Loon Project indicate loons do suffer with age.
Credit 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.

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Focus on Loons
4:53 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Loon Symposium Highlights Role of Citizen Scientists

Citizens play an ever-important role in monitoring loons and gathering observational data.
Credit 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.” 

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Black Flies Hinder Reproductive Success
5:43 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Loon Chicks Likely To Number Forty Percent Fewer

Northwoods loons continue to feel the effects of black fly swarms earlier this year.
Credit Mike Baird via https://flic.kr/p/JAwGP

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. 

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A Case of Bad Timing
6:25 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Loons Abandon Nests Facing Droves of Black Flies

Loons in the Northwoods are suffering due to high numbers of black flies pestering them while they try to nest.
Credit 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.

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