Thursday, January 28, 2010

We've Moved!!

LoonWatch has a new blog site! Nothing new will be posted here but it will stay up to allow access to old posts. Check out the new site and let us know what you think. Just go to

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Birds and Climate Change

Climate change can have severe effects on breeding, migrating, and wintering birds in Wisconsin as well as around the world. Take a look at the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative issues paper on birds and climate change.

Check out other WBCI issues papers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

BRI and the Yellow-billed Loon

The largest of loons, it nests in a relatively small part of the arctic. It has basically the same breeding and wintering coloring as the Common Loon except for a yellow bill. In the winter it tends to have more white on the face than the Common Loon. It breeds in the Arctic, Russia, Canada, and Alaska. In the winter it can be found off the coasts of Norway and western Canada. Sometimes they go to large inland lakes and have been as far south as Arizona.

See BRI's article on the Yellow-billed Loon.

Duck Lake Loon Rescue

On December 8, the Pickerel Fire and Rescue Squad Cold Water Team put themselves on very thin ice for a Common Loon before a winter storm rolled in. This adult male injured his wing months ago and was unable to migrate with his family. He is thin for his size, 8lbs 3ozs, but is doing well for the situation. He is under a lot of stress and will be transported to the Gulf as soon as possible. On a very positive note, this loon had a very low blood lead level.

To read more visit the REGI blog.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

'Tis the Season to Get Excited about Birds!

Interest in birds? Check out the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative for some opportunities to get out and involved. All skill levels are encouraged to participate.

Be sure to check out the Christmas Bird Count and look for one near you.

Lead Poisoned Bald Eagle from Bancroft, WI

This past Sunday, January 29, some hunters found a Bald Eagle lying in the woods and immediately went into action. They made a phone call and the eagle was brought into the Raptor Education Group Inc. REGI is a non-profit organization in Antigo, WI, which focuses on educating people, rehabilitating native bird species, and research. The eagle was in very poor condition when she was brought in with an "off the charts" high blood lead level and suffering from convulsions.

To read more and stay updated visit the REGI blogspot.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lead Sinker, Jig Ban Proposed

Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) has introduced a bill (Senate Bill 1269) in the Illinois legislature that would end the sale or distribution of lead sinkers and lead jigs.

Steans’ bill would also prohibit the use of lead sinkers and lead jigs in “freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, brooks, and similar bodies of water over which the Department of Natural Resources (“the Department”) has jurisdiction.”

Here is a synopsis of the bill:

Creates the Lead Sinker Act. Prohibits any person from selling, supplying, distributing or offering to sell, supply, or distribute lead sinkers and lead jigs. Prohibits the use of lead sinkers and lead jigs to take fish in freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, brooks, and similar bodies of water over which the Department of Natural Resources (“the Department”) has jurisdiction under the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act. Requires the Department, after consulting with the Illinois State Board of Education, to institute an educational program that meets certain requirements. Requires the Department to (i) notify the public about the Act’s prohibitions; (ii) enforce the Act; (iii) confiscate, under certain circumstances, lead jigs or lead sinkers that it finds in the course of enforcing the Act; and (iv) suspend, for not more than 6 months, the hunting and fishing privileges of a person who uses a lead sinker or lead jig to take fish in violation of the Act. Provides fines for violations. Effective one year after becoming law.

By: Jeff Lampe

Click here to read the complete bill.