Loons affected by fireworks

Common Loons are considered an endangered species here in Michigan and they are struggling due to many factors; low water levels, lead poisoning , etc have all had a negative impact over their breeding populations for the last couple of decades. They are also affected by the loud noise of fireworks in a *very* negative way. The noise is so very disturbing to them that they will often fly off our private lake and head to other nearby lakes to escape the noise. But there really is no escaping it as most lakes in our area are populated by summer residents. Their distress calls make it very clear that the noise disturbs them, but our area fireworks fanatics could care less about wildlife or loons. Fireworks also cause our resident owl species (Barred and Great Horned Owls) to call in alarm. They don’t shoot off legal fireworks here, they shoot off mortars- and no one will stop them.

I have contacted Michigan Loon Preservation Association last year about the ongoing disturbance of loons, but they didn’t offer any recourse rather than contact our local officials. Contacting our local officials about anything is pretty much a waste of time. They don’t want to alienate the population of weekenders/campers that head up to our area – it all boils down to $$.. and meanwhile the loons suffer each and every time fireworks are shot off.

Not much I can add except that I am a naturalist and have spent many years observing birds and I can say without a doubt that fireworks are harmful to nocturnal bird species- the noise drives them out of their territory.

Cynthia Mead