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Loons, like many from Minnesota, travel south [UPDATED]

Published 9:50am Tuesday, May 20, 2014 Updated 11:53am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Question: Where do Minnesota’s loons spend the winter?

Answer: Minnesota’s loons primarily spend their winters in the Gulf of Mexico offshore from Alabama and the Florida panhandle, and southward along the Florida Gulf Coast.

They feed mainly on the bottom at depths often greater than 100 feet.

That is why we are concerned about the long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, since petroleum and dispersants from the spill would have likely settled in that region offshore from Alabama and Florida. We are studying Minnesota’s loons for contaminants with funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

 

— Carrol Henderson, nongame wildlife program supervisor

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