Daily Bread for 4.22.23: Loons Fall from Wisconsin Skies

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 43. Sunrise is 6:00 AM and sunset 7:45 PM for 13h 44m 42s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 6.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1970, the first Earth Day is celebrated.

Some titles suggest multiple subjects, but this isn’t a post about Michael Gableman, Ron Johnson, or anyone who thought Foxconn might be a good idea.

A Great Northern Loon (also known as the Great Northern Diver and the Common Loon) in Minocqua, Wisconsin, USA. By John Picken from Chicago, USA – Loon Uploaded by snowmanradio, CC BY 2.0,

Instead, it’s about genuine common loons (Gavia immer). Gaby Vinick writes Rehabilitators report ‘loon fallout’ in northern Wisconsin (‘Migrating loons get pulled down by weight of ice that hampers their flight ability, causing them to crash on land, nonprofit says’):

Loons have been falling from the sky over Wisconsin this week, according to an avian rehabilitation organization.

Marge Gibson, founder and director of Raptor Education Group, blamed what they call a “loon fallout” on cold, turbulent spring weather. She said migrating loons that fly at high altitudes get coated in ice which hampers their flight ability. 

“Once the ice accumulates on them, they’re no longer aerodynamic, and they fall,” Gibson said. “They just happen to be in the wrong place.”

At least 25 downed loons have been rescued as of Friday. 

Gibson said loons sometimes end up on the ground because they mistake wet pavement for water and try to land. But in this case, she said, other birds were found across different locations — in woods and cow pastures, or places where they wouldn’t land purposely.

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7 months ago

Quite literally the fallout of climate change. Couldn’t resist that one, truly I tried. It is worth possibly noting in one of the articles regarding the sky(loons) falling that this can be an annual occurence as well because of the presence of any number of manmade objects like roadways and parking lots being mistaken as bodies of water. We are fortunate that there are organizations who seek to save any wayward birds who cannot easily traverse cow fields and help get them back to their migratory paths.