© 2024 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.
ANTENNA TV SIGNAL NOTE: Maine Public may have an issue with our WMEM signal that serves Aroostook County, Northern Penobscot, and Western New Brunswick for those using an antenna. If you have access to the internet, you can stream Maine Public Television from our website. High School Basketball Tournament will stream LIVE from mainepublic.org, Maine Public’s Facebook page, and Maine Public’s YouTube Channel.

RADIO SERVICE NOTE: Listeners may experience broadcast issues due to system upgrades.

Volunteers To Count Loons Saturday In Yearly Checkup


On Saturday, volunteers will get up early to carry out an annual count of the state's loon population.

The citizen-science event, overseen by Maine Audubon, aims to get a snapshot of how adult loons and chicks are faring year to year.

Staff Naturalist, Doug Hitchcox says the count can offer insights into how the birds are being affected by factors such AS climate. Heavy rains and flooding can drown nests. But drought conditions can also cause hardship for the birds.

"They need to build their nests kind of right on the shoreline and they like having a really steady level of water. Essentially because they're practically immobile on land- their legs are so far back on their body that they really struggle to get around," Hitchcox says.

That means that if water levels drop too much, loons aren't able to return to their nests.

Additionally, Hitchcox says as weather gets hotter and drier, people tend to flock to lakes and ponds for fishing and boating- which can also harm loons.

Last year, the count identified about 3,000 adult loons and more than 400 chicks, and the population appears to be holding steady.