In the news: Extensive bird die-off on northern Michigan shoreline could link to invasive species

Fish and plants may not be the only species feeling the impact of invasives. The recent deaths of thousands of common loons along Michigan’s northern shoreline could point to an invasive species presence. 

From The Oakland Press

“The common loon, a beloved, iconic bird known for its eerily lonely, two-note call and its beautiful markings, suffered devastating losses along Lake Michigan’s northern shoreline this fall. Thousands of dead birds, mainly loons, washed ashore — from the Upper Peninsula down to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. A large percentage of the dead loons had just entered their first year of breeding maturity.

The reason for the die-off, which follows similar incidents in 2006 and 2007, isn’t fully understood. But it is suspected that it is driven by the food chain linking the loon to invasive species, specifically the quagga mussel, the zebra mussel and the round goby.”

Follow the link above for the complete article, including video and several photos of the bird.

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