President’s Letter 2012 Spring
I am a graduate of the University of Maine in Orono. In fact, 2012 marks my upcoming 45th (really?) reunion. As such, I am in receipt of UMaine Today, a magazine that focuses on the “creativity and achievement at U of M”, with many articles siting research done in Maine. One recent article caught my eye about a woman who has been doing research on loons at various lakes in Western Maine where Webb Lake is located.
Loons can live more than 30 years, which is relatively long for a wild bird. Byrd’s research is exploring “why loons settle where they do and how vulnerable they are to changes in their habitats and the climate”. She says, “In Connecticut, for example, there are suitable lakes and habitat, but there are no loons. There is something that’s limiting the edge of their range, whether it’s water clarity, lake surface temperatures, fish assemblages, or dissolved oxygen levels.”
Byrd has spent two years in study to date, banding the big birds, as well as their chicks, and taking blood samples to measure mercury levels over time. We are in hopes that feedback from the study will give us some added insight regarding our Webb Lake loon population. Each July, we join over 300 lakes in Maine in counting our loon populations across the state.
For those of you visiting the lake this summer, you will surely hear the loon yodel calls defending their territories, warning of an oncoming boat, or noting an Eagle overhead. With our Eagle populations seemingly growing on the lake, loon chick parents will need special vigilance!
Looking forward to seeing you all in and around the lake this summer!!!
Tricia Keene, President, Webb Lake Association