Spring is here and amazing donations!
I wanted to give you an update on our fundraising campaign. We are bowled over here at BRI; since we started the $50,000 campaign we have received $25,000 in donations! Absolutely amazing—we are half way there. Thank you all for your extremely generous support. And now it is looncam season.
I just received word, ten minutes ago that a pair of loons has returned to the lakes where we set up the camera. There is still skim ice in places, but it should be gone by the end of today. I was working last week to get the loon cam computers up and running and this week Lee Attix and I will complete our preparations for out installation next week. If all goes as planned we should have the camera live by the end of next week or the beginning of the following.
Lee Attix has a blog for the loon cam which is http://looncam.blogspot.com/ and the loon cam can be viewed at http://www.briloon.org/watching-wildlife/loon-cam.php.
Over the weekend there were some great question about mercury and why it may be higher inland than on the lakes. The short answer is that the mercury is less diluted in fresh water systems than the ocean. I wanted to provide you with two links to two of our recent reports which outline how and where mercury is concentrating. This first report explains what is currently known about mercury levels in the environment http://www.briloon.org/mercury/mercon_contents.htm. This second report explains the mercury hotspots in the northeast that we have documented http://www.briloon.org/mercury/hot_spot_bio.htm.
As far as the florescent lights that contain mercury. They are excellent lights that use significant less electricity, much of which comes from coal-fired plants. Since coal power plants can contribute significantly to mercury deposition and global warming these light reduce green house gas emissions as well as mercury pollution. They do contain mercury, and need to be recycled once they have died—usually after many years. Here in Maine, the state is working on expanding our mercury recycling stations.
I note about the eagle. I would expect them to generally stay around the nest site, and I would expect that you should continue to hear them and perhaps see them dropping by the nest to feed on a recent catch.
Here is a link to a great story written about the birds in this weekend's Bangor Daily News.
Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute