Summer is a beautiful season in the Adirondacks when the sun shines bright, the gentle breeze blows, and the distinct call of the common loon echos from the region’s lakes and ponds. In the future, though, summers could be much different, and a recent report by the National Audubon Society suggests the call of that iconic bird could be replaced with an eerie silence.
Photo Credit: Katherine Hardeman
Syracuse.com writes that the National Audubon Society has identified climate change as the primary factor leading to the projected disappearance of many species of birds, including the common loon, from the Adirondacks during the summer months. While the warmer temperatures may be a welcome sight for us after the long Adirondack winters, they are disliked by the birds who will be forced to find cooler locations to live and breed.
The common loon is not the only species that will be impacted, as the study identifies the purple finch, the ruffed grouse, and mallard ducks as being at risk as well. Perhaps the most unpleasant fact in the Audubon Society’s report is that these birds could go on a summer hiatus as early as 2020. Although the species will likely return during the winter, a summer without them seems unimaginable.
Syracuse.com quotes Audubon President David Yarnbold as saying “This report is a road map, and it’s telling us two big things: We need to preserve and protect the places where birds live, and we have to work together to reduce the severity of global warming.” If you’re interested in helping the plight of the birds, you can make your backyard bird-friendly by setting up feeders or places for birds to nest or become involved in habitat restoration projects.
Although you may have taken it for granted in the past, be sure to enjoy the call of the loon in the Adirondacks this summer – in a few years, you may not have the opportunity to do so.