My beloved Loon parents on Big Bradford Lake in Waters, Michigan.
I'm back from the Michigan Audubon Conference and have had time to think about what I experienced and learned this past weekend. I spoke about Birding & Blogging and reviewed how to set up a blog, blogger etiquette and how blogging can help the birds. All my attendees filled out review forms on me (hopefully no one wrote "thinks she's funny but she's not!") and I was told I got high marks so I was very appreciative!
2nd thing - after attending a presentation on Loons, I am even more worried about their future. Added to the list of loss of habitat affecting these poor Loons, now they have to contend with Avian botulism which is occuring in our Great Lakes. In 2007 - botulism killed an estimated 7,500 migrating and native bird population including many Loons. The theory is that botulism occurs when the zebra mussels filter the water allowing more light to grow cladaphora algae which increases the outbreaks. The birds are affected by eating these infected fish and mussels.
Loons only have 2 loon chicks per year - they are lucky if one survives. Can you imagine the devastation that Botulism could have on our Loon population? I left the conference thinking I need to do more. There are so many opportunities we bird and nature bloggers have to get the message out there - share and exchange information - and help the creatures we care so much about.