Yesterday (July 6th, 2011) the Scouts, the staff and the Family Camp campers participated in the annual Loon count of Many Point Lake. We have been working with the Minnesota State DNR and this program for twenty years as we join with Loon counters throughout the state. The count goes on even though the state in shut down.
Each camp (including Family Camp) went out in boats at 10:00 a.m. to patrol a predetermined section of the 1700 acre lake. Family Camp campers joined the Family Camp staff on the pontoon to observe the shoreline from Family Camp to Whaley’s Resort. It was a great day for the Loon count, with a slight breeze and pleasant temperatures. It makes it easier to see the Loons when the lake is relatively calm.
This year’s count is even more important than past years because of the oil spill. Biologists fear that the oil spill may have affected the Loons that migrate to portions of the Gulf Coast for the winter. Last year the Many Point count revealed 17 Loons that were living at Many Point Lake.
Not only is the Loon the Minnesota state bird, but it also plays a strong role as a symbol of Many Point Scout Camp. It is the oldest bird in the ornithological list and is unique in that it has solid bones, as opposed to the hollow bones of other birds. Those solid bones enable Loons to dive to great depths. It’s primal calls have come to be a sign of the north and have welcomed Scouters to Many Point for 65 years!
And the final Loon count for 2011 is……14.