Loons are falling out of the sky in northern Wisconsin

Frigid temperatures are causing "loon fallout" as birds are falling from the sky in Wisconsin. (Source: WLUC)
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 7:26 PM EDT
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ANTIGO, WI. (Northern News Now) - Reports of loons falling out of the sky have been increasing in northern Wisconsin.

It’s a phenomenon known as “Loon Fallout,” according to the Raptor Education Group. The Antigo-based nonprofit says that the rain and ice on Thursday created the perfect storm to affect the migrating loons.

A loon crash landed on a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin
A loon crash landed on a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin(Raptor Education Group, Inc)

As the loons fly northward, they’re encountering atmospheric conditions that causes ice to develop on their bodies.

The weight of the ice becomes so great that the loons are unable to stay airborne and crash land.

Crashed loons have been spotted in Wausau, Gleason, Stratford, Neva, Rice Lake, Antigo, and Drummond. Other areas in the Northland may be affected as well.

If you spot a crashed loon, it will need help as loons cannot walk-- their feet are made for swimming and diving.

Loons require large bodies of water with at least a quarter mile of water to take off, they should not be released in small ponds.

Contact REGI at 715-623-4015, Loon Rescue at 715-966-5415, or a local wildlife center for advice.

Loons can be difficult to handle. They have sharp beaks and use them for defense.

Raptor Education Group recommends a blanket to contain them, and transporting them in a Rubbermaid container with air holes in the top.

Towels should be placed on the bottom of the container to cushion and prevent injury to the loon.

A loon in a bath tub
A loon in a bath tub(Raptor Education Group, Inc)

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