MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is tracking 10 loons to study the effect of the Gulf oil spill on the state’s loon population.
The Forum of Fargo, N.D., reports that the DNR and the U.S. Geological Survey are tagging the loons with GPS transmitters.
The researchers hope to learn whether the birds migrate to the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Coast in the winter. They also want to know how many will survive.
Minnesota DNR Nongame Wildlife Program Supervisor Carrol Henderson says most loons go to the Gulf Coast — many right to the area where the oil is coming ashore.
Henderson says loons migrate south in October and November. Adults return in April, but young loons stay for two years before heading back to Minnesota.