Patrick Keenan of BioDiversity and  Alex Dalton-USM student- BRI intern.              Photo by Lyn Jellison.

Patrick Keenan of BioDiversity and Alex Dalton-USM student- BRI intern.             Photo by Lyn Jellison.

Elementary School Lakes and Loons Program

A few years ago, we learned that due to human intervention we lost a loon chick from the lake.  As a result we began funding a scholastic loon project to raise children's awareness of the value of this waterfowl breed that inhabits Wilson Lake. The group's membership believes that educating children about loons will reinforce protection of these remarkable birds.  The program on “Lakes and Loons”, is presented by Patrick Keenan from BioDiversity Research Institute (BRI).  He talks to the students about loons, wildlife and the need to protect them and their habitat.  

Patrick Keenan, is assisted by FOWL member Nancy Prince, as they introduce a creative, interactive classroom presentation that personalizes wildlife issues for the children. Students listen to recorded loon calls, observe the physical features of an adult male specimen in a glass case, and learn how loons are banded. They learn to identify the loons' tremolo call that shows when the birds feel threatened. Keenan stresses the sensitivity of the loon nesting period and the need to keep away from nests and young loons.

During the session students act the part of researchers identifying the special features of loons, loon nests, and their chicks. The children have the opportunity to share their observations with the group, helping them to recognize the role that scientific information has in promoting conservation efforts.

The Wilton students' enthusiasm and desire to help protect loons demonstrates the positive results that can occur when community organizations collaborate to safeguard our natural resources.