The peaceful call of loons in northern Minnesota is coming under attack by the pestering buzz of biting black flies. “It must be hard for them to see, let alone even breathe,” said Lori Naumann, a non-game specialist with the Department of Natural Resources.
Transmitter data confirm the unusually warm spring is bringing loons back to Minnesota almost three weeks earlier than usual.
A major study is under way into the potential impacts of the gulf oil spill on Minnesota’s loons and pelicans.
Wildlife experts and enthusiasts say there are encouraging early signs that Minnesota’s loons and other migratory birds fared well while wintering in the Gulf of Mexico following last summer’s massive oil spill, although they say it’s too early to be sure.
As winter’s icy grip releases Sagatagan Lake, months of anxious waiting and wondering are over. For Kristina Timmerman and Carol Jansky, loon number 55480 is back on summer waters.
Like other “snowbirds” these Minnesota residents are using GPS as they travel south for the winter. But what’s different about these migrants is that they’re the real thing — Minnesota’s state bird, in fact.