Friday, July 30, 2010

A Northwoods Almanac for 7/30/10

A Northwoods Almanac for July 30 – August 12, 2010

Lake Superior “Running a Fever”
            A recent headline in the New York Times read, “Lake Superior, A Huge Natural Climate Change Gauge, Is Running a Fever.”
I suspect most folks who know Lake Superior would say, “Impossible!” Anyone who has ever swam in the biggest freshwater lake in the world knows exactly what is meant by the phrase “a bone-chilling experience.” Like swimming in a glass of ice water, there is no more “refreshing” an experience to be found in the Midwest. Most folks come out blue after a quick dip.
But not this year. Mid-July usually marks the time when Lake Superior reaches the toasty high of 39°F and goes through its summer turnover, a process where the water layers mix throughout the lake. But by July 9th this year, the lake had already soared to 59°F, 20 degrees warmer than it normally is on that date.
And it’s getting warmer. By July 20th the lake had hit 66°F, and please note, this was measured from a buoy in the center of the lake. Barring a lengthy cold front, the all-time record high of 68°F reached in 1998 may be broken before the end of July, and record highs will very likely be reached by mid-August, the typical peak for water temperatures.
Why is it so warm this year? Two reasons. One – a lack of ice-cover this last winter and the very warm spring that followed. Two – Lake Superior’s summer water temperatures have been warming twice as fast as air temperatures over the past 30 years. This 30-year trend is one of the most pronounced temperature increases on the planet and reflects the positive feedback loop that is occurring – the warmer the air and water, the less ice forms in the winter and the sooner it melts in the spring. Less ice means warmer water in the summer, which leads to less ice forming in the winter, and on it goes. Total ice cover on the lake has shrunk by about 20 percent over the past 37 years.
Less ice and warmer waters also lead to greater evaporation. Currently, Lake Superior is down a foot, and while lake levels have cycled up and down forever, this is a new twist in the tale, one that scientists believe will keep lake levels low. 
The warm temperatures aren’t just being seen in Lake Superior – they’re being recorded in all of the Great Lakes. All the lakes are either at or approaching temperatures seen only in late August.
As for what the warmer and shallower waters may mean to the community of life in Lake Superior, scientists are most concerned about the many species of Lake Superior fish that are sensitive to warmer waters. A lake fisherman near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, reports that whitefish are much harder to find because the warmer water has chased them out deeper into the water column. Lake trout will also have to move deeper or further offshore to find the cold waters they require. Fall spawning fish like coaster brook trout, herring and whitefish may see their timing delayed by weeks or even months, the effects of which are unknown. And the invasive blood-sucking sea lamprey thrives in warmer water, growing bigger and laying more eggs.
The lake buoys show a distinct 30-year trend toward dramatically warmer temperatures, all a sign of climate change according to Bob Krumenaker, the Superintendent of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Average water temperatures have increased 4.5°F since 1980, an enormous increase for a body of water as large as Lake Superior. Krumenaker notes that on the Madeline Island Ice Road (the “road” that one can drive to cross the ice from Bayfield to Madeline Island), which has been monitored since 1856, the ice duration has decreased at a rate of 14.7 days per decade since 1975. It had been decreasing at a rate of 3.4 days per decade prior to 35 years ago.
Krumenaker also notes that evaporation is modeled to increase by nearly 40% by 2090, and ice cover will be somewhere between 2 and 11 percent of the historical average.
I heard a talk on climate change given last week by Mike Dombeck, former chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Dombeck began with this quote: “The misery of uncertainty is worse than the certainty of misery.” What is certain, as long as you take the time to look at the actual scientific research and data, is that climate change is occurring now, and every model shows it increasing at alarming rates, even those models that take the most optimistic viewpoint on our willingness to change our production of greenhouse gases (see for data within Wisconsin).
In the meantime, it’ll be great swimming in Lake Superior for the foreseeable future. No more blue lips and uncontrollable shivering. And that’s a great loss.

Learning to Sing
            Over the last few weeks, Mary and I have been listening to the cries of baby catbirds, purple finches, and cedar waxwings begging to be fed. Although fledged, they still need their parents to feed them for a few weeks before they assume the mantel of adulthood and begin foraging on their own. They are also now learning the songs that define their species, which led Mary to question how the babies learn the songs when the singing males are now at the end of the nesting season and are so reticent to sing.
            First, not all birds need to learn their songs from their parents. Of the roughly 10,000 species of birds in the world, they are almost equally divided between those that must learn their songs and those that know their songs innately. Loons, ducks, geese, gulls, shorebirds, gulls, doves, owls, woodpeckers, herons, in fact nearly all bird groups, except songbirds, leave nothing to chance and simply know their songs at birth. However, except for the flycatchers – phoebes for instance – which also know their songs innately, nearly all songbirds must learn to sing. Each songbird species has a particular strategy that requires them to learn at the right place, at the right time, and from the right adults. Why some species must learn their songs and others don’t is a heavily studied mystery, and one of interest to humans since we, too, must learn from adults in order to speak our language.
            So, for example, let’s look at how a chipping sparrow chick learns its song. If he hatches in May, he’ll have plenty of time to learn his song from males who are still singing into early July. If, however, he hatches in a second nesting in late July after the adults have stopped singing for the year, he will have to wait to develop his song until he migrates back the next spring and can hear males in full song.
Another example - a chestnut-sided warbler chick can learn his female-attraction songs at any time and any place from any adult, but the songs he uses in male-to-male interaction must be learned the next spring when he arrives on the territory that he wants to claim for the rest of his life.
            Songs are learned most easily early in life – the male white-crowned sparrow, for instance, learns his song best between day 10 and day 50 of his life. Note, however, that the chick isn’t ready immediately after hatching to learn his song. Researchers took white-crowned male chicks from their nests in the wild at eight or nine days and kept them in a lab. The result – the birds developed highly abnormal songs.
Then there are a few birds, like mockingbirds, that never stop learning new songs, acquiring new phrasing and nuances throughout their lives.
            The songbirds that must learn their songs are born with a template of their species’ songs. However, the young must practice their songs just like human children must practice to learn our language. A study done with Bewick wrens, which sing 16 different songs, found the young chick repeatedly singing each individual song, and slowly building up his ability to master the song, then moving on to the next song. Each attempt at the song was different, and eventually the young wrens learned to be competent singers, but not without lengthy attempts filled with mistakes.
            As for the flycatchers, researchers proved the young chicks didn’t need to hear their parents sing in order to learn their songs by taking four baby phoebes and removing the cochlea from the inner ear of each bird. Even without the ability to hear, a few months later the young phoebes produced perfectly normal phoebe songs in perfect tempo.
            Jan Evan sent the following e-mail: “Last week two of our guests saw an eagle snatch a fish out of Edith Lake. Then he used his wings like oars to get the fish to land. Two other eagles spotted the feast and joined him. Then two more came down, and our friends witnessed five eagles gouging themselves on that one fish. (It must have been a large bass.) When they finished, the only thing left was a three- inch fin.”
Debra Heidenreich lives on Squirrel Lake and sent me a photo of an adult and a juvenile red-headed woodpecker (see the photo). A pair has raised young in their yard every summer over the past 5 years. She notes: “The babies seem to be out of the nest and feeding in early to mid July. We feed suet cakes, as well as black sunflower seed. They feed the babies suet while they are waiting perched on the side of the trees. The babies are black and white, but missing the red head.”
On a similar note, Gary Ruesch has lived on the Rainbow Flowage for 15 years, and this is the first year he’s had a pair of red-headed woodpeckers bring their young to his feeders. He also has a pair of pileated woodpeckers and a pair of hairy woodpeckers bringing their young to his feeders, so he’s hit the trifecta.

Celestial Events           
If you want to see planets in the night sky in August, dusk is the best time, and the action is in the west. Mercury is very low in the west for the first half of the month. Venus is also very low in the west and sets after 9 p.m. Mars is low in the southwest, setting at around 10 p.m. Jupiter rises in the east after 9 p.m. And Saturn can be seen very low in the west, setting soon after nightfall.
August 6th puts us halfway between summer solstice and autumn equinox.
On 8/9, look for Venus about three degrees southwest of Saturn.
The Perseid meteor shower begins on August 8th and peaks on the night of August 12th. With no moon to interfere, it could be a great night to see meteors!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Northwoods Almanac for 7/16/10

A Northwoods Almanac for July 16 – 29, 2010

Loon Flocks in June and July
In late June, Ed Nokes was on High Lake when he saw several groups of loons over the course of the early morning hours. Eventually he observed 12 in one flock: “They swam and fished together for quite a while and then things got a little testy. Some of the loons were driven away from the group and before long, one after another took off for parts unknown.” Two days later the group had grown to 17!
Large groups of loons are quite common later in August as the adults gather together in pre-migratorial flocks. However, late June is too early for loons to be thinking about migration - a good number are often still on nests! Instead, what’s likely occurring is that groups of unmated adults are simply socializing. Since unmated individuals don’t have territories to defend, they are generally at ease around one another.
However, their socializing appears to have territorial implications. When groups like this land in a known territory during the mating and rearing period, biologists believe it means the territorial pair failed to produce young, and the territory is now up for grabs. Individuals from within the group often appear to  “test” the mated territorial male or female to see if they can usurp the territory. And even within the group of bachelors, there appears to be hierarchical testing being done.
I called Terry Daulton, a biologist who has worked as part of a team of loon researchers over many years, and she confirmed this general explanation. She also noted that they just finished a count of loons on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage and found 96 individuals. However, in Terry’s many years of experience on the TFF, an average of only 30 pairs maintain territories on the Flowage. Thus, 36 adult loons appear to be utilizing the flowage, but are not paired up or nesting. Terry said she had seen more territorial disputes taking place than normal, suggesting that loon numbers are quite high on the TFF.

July Bird Songs
            Life grows quiet in July, at least from a bird song perspective. If you wake at dawn in early June, you are treated to a wild symphony of song. But awaken at dawn in July, and the symphony is quite muted. Early summer offers only a brief window of time during which males must sing to defend their territories and maintain their pair bonds. Once the first brood has fledged, and if there’s no second nesting brood to defend, most males dramatically reduce their singing.
Turtle-Flambeau Flowage Waterfowl Survey
Every five years, a large group of volunteers do a waterfowl survey of the entire Turtle-Flambeau Flowage, a not insignificant effort given the immense size of the flowage – 14,000 acres with 114 miles of shoreline and 195 islands. The group is divided into many sub-groups, with each assigned a specific route to follow on the Flowage. Preliminary count results are as follows:
*266 mallards, comprised of 30 broods with 181 young, or an average of 6 young/brood. This is the highest count since 1990, and the third highest ever.
*409 hooded mergansers, comprised of 46 broods with 319 young, or an average of 7 young/brood. This was the greatest increase of any species.
*38 wood ducks, comprised of only 2 broods with 10 young. This count, while not impressive, was still the highest number of wood ducks since the survey started in 1980.
*0 Black Ducks reported, a first for the survey.       
*195 Canada geese, comprised of 26 broods with 130 young for an average of 5 young/brood. From no geese counted through 1985 to huge increases in 2006 and 2010, geese are doing quite well on the TFF.
*1 brood of common goldeneye (only 1 chick observed with a hen), a first for the TFF survey. Green shell fragments had been found in a nest box in 2008.
*Only 1 blue-winged teal.
*20 red-breasted mergansers, comprised of 13 young in 2 broods. These were the first red-breasted broods ever on survey.
  *40 common mergansers were reported on one route. They are normally found on the TFF survey, but this is second highest number ever. No young were reported, and they were only found on the one route.
 *96 total non-flying loons, plus many flying loons observed.  Seven pair were seen with nine young, or 1.3 young/pair.
        Previously, sandhill cranes were either not seen or not counted. In 2010, a total of 28 cranes were counted, including two young.
        Twelve Kingfishers were counted, which is normal for the TFF.

I had numerous people call or e-mail regarding birds continually pecking their windows. One writer had a tom turkey on his deck pounding on the dining room window with his beak, while others had the more typical sighting of male songbirds hammering their windows. All were almost certainly defending their territories by fighting their own reflections in the windows, and I suspect they all went back to their mates muttering about their competitor’s ability to take a punch. A simple solution is to hang some ribbon in front of the window to break up the reflection.
             Marthe and Rex Jones on Twin Island Lake have been lucky enough to have a belted kingfisher pair burrow a nesting cavity into the side of the slope outside their cabin window. The cavity entrance is about 12 feet from their window, so they can watch as the kingfishers zoom in and out.
             Marthe and Rex have set up a trail camera to get some photos. Rex noted on 7/4, “around 5:40 AM, I was watching the nest through binoculars. I didn't mean to get up this early on a Sunday morning, but I heard the kingfisher call and figured it might be coming in to take care of some parenting business. The parent that flew in stopped at the entrance, and handed off a four or five inch fish to the other parent. The call patterns between the parents is very interesting. The parent in the nest has a much softer and slower tat tat tat tat call.”

Backstroking Loons
Carol and Dave Koch sent me the following e-mail: “We were watching a loon about 200' from shore, and it seemed to be quite active in the water. It would swim in small circles, rise up out of the water and flap its wings, then settle down for a few seconds and seem to preen. It seemed unusually active, and we wondered if there was something wrong, like an entanglement in fishing line, that was causing it to perform such rapid activity.
             “Then, it flipped over on its back, and with its head underwater, did a few strokes with its wings, just like a swimmer doing a backstroke. It stayed in this position, stroking with its wings, for maybe 10 seconds or so. We had binoculars, and even without them, it was easy to see its little feet in the air over its white belly. It repeated this behavior about four or five times, interspersed with its other activities, over a period of perhaps 20 minutes.
             “Several times during these activities, the loon propelled itself rapidly underwater, then above water, then back under, using its wings, it seemed, to porpoise through the water much like penguins or dolphins. It repeated this routine at least twice during the other activities, porpoising about four times each time. During all of this, it would continually swim in tight circles using its wings to paddle, along with its feet, I suppose, and it moved very quickly.
             “It continued this rapid activity almost non-stop for about 20 minutes or so, then it quieted down and resumed the casual swimming that we normally see.
             “So, that's the story.  It seemed to us, especially after the backstroke routine, that the loon was just enjoying life and having a good time on the water.”
             I have not seen this behavior, so I called Terry Daulton who has been part of Mike Meyer’s local loon research team for many years. Terry noted that she had seen this behavior a number of times over the years, and it was usually associated with preening and bathing. However, why the loons engage in the behavior is unknown.

Summer Wildflowers
            Mid-summer wildflowers seem to be blooming at least a week or two ahead of time this year. We saw wild bergamot, butter-and-eggs, swamp candles, fireweed, Joe-Pye weed, and numerous other wildflowers blooming prior to the end of June, flowers that normally would be seen blooming from mid-July onward.

Northern Water Snake
Jennifer Heitz sent me several photos that her daughter Olivia took of a northern water snake attempting to eat a dead bluegill on their Ballard Lake shoreline. Jennifer noted that it tried for at least 15-20 minutes to swallow the fish, but it never succeeded.
The harmless, nonpoisonous northern water snake is our only true water snake. It’s usually seen basking along the water’s edge on a beaver lodge or a downed log, and feeds on cold-blooded vertebrates like frogs, salamanders, and small fish. In turn, it is eaten by numerous predators, including minks, herons, raccoons, northern pike, bass, and red-shouldered hawks.
Northern water snakes are ovoviviparous, a long, tongue-twisting term for animals that produce eggs but retain them inside the female’s body until hatching occurs, so that live offspring are born. The female northern water snake gives birth to an average of 25 live young typically in August. Mothers do not care for their young; as soon as they are born, they’re on their own.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Northwoods Almanac for 7/2/10

A Northwoods Almanac for July 2 – July 8, 2010

June Rains!
            We received at least 11 inches of rain this month in our very unofficial garden rain gauge here in Manitowish, far exceeding the amount we had received all year up to this point. Water levels have come up dramatically in rivers and in drainage lakes, but still have a very long way to go in our area’s seepage lakes, which remain at historic lows.
            Roy Eckerg at the National Weather Service-Green Bay recently put together an exceptional summary of the “Historical Droughts Across North Central and Northeast Wisconsin Since 1900.” His data provide all the necessary background to conclude that the 2003-2010 drought is the worst on historical record for North Central Wisconsin. For comparison, the drought that most people recall was the Dust Bowl from 1930 to 1937. That drought peaked in 1936, with July 1936 going down in the record books as having the most days in the 100s in a given month, and also recording the most consecutive days with highs above 100 degrees. The hardest hit areas in northern Wisconsin were in the northeast from Oconto to Marinette, with Oconto experiencing a deficit over the 8-year period of 64 inches of precipitation. The Dust Bowl years were far less intense in our area, with Rhinelander only recording a deficit of 22 inches, Phelps 17 inches, and Minocqua 14 inches.
            I wrote last week that the highest deficit during this current drought, which began in 2003, was recorded at the Rest Lake dam in Manitowish Waters – a deficit of 59 inches – with the Rice Reservoir in Tomahawk not far behind at nearly 56 inches.
            The last drought of significance in our area prior to this one occurred from 1987 to 1989. Rhinelander recorded the highest deficit during that time at 33 inches, with Phelps at 23 inches and Minocqua showing a deficit of 14 inches.
            So, given that in the Lakeland region no drought in the 20th century can hold a candle to this one, the June rains have been particularly welcome! While they have put a damper on some recreation, we remain desperately in need of them.

            Mary Kaminski spotted a red-headed woodpecker on her property bordering the Chequamegon Forest, a species she hadn’t seen in 20 years.
Joe Tennesen reported a male scarlet tanager stopped by at his birdbath to enjoy a drink, a rarity to see at one’s feeders or birdbath.
We ate our first wild blueberry on June 27, a very early date.
            Many orchid species are currently in flower. In a recent hike on the Fallison Trail, we found numerous spotted coralroots in the upland woods, and a few grass pink and pink ladyslipper orchids in a bog mat. Dragon’s mouth orchids are also in bloom, and while I won’t tell you where to find them, bog mats are their favored habitat.
            Early summer flowers like wild roses are in full bloom. I walked a trail recently that was lined with wild roses, and the smell was fabulous.
            Dennis Hill in Manitowish Waters sent me a picture of two adult cranes with two chicks eating corn at a local bird feeder. The chicks are born precocial, meaning they are born with their eyes open, feathered with down, and able to walk shortly after their birth. The sandhill chicks still have to follow their parents around to find food, but they grow at a prodigious rate, and fledge on average just two months later. Late May would be a reasonable average date for hatching around here, so these chicks ought to be airborne by late July.

WDNR Petition to Delist Wolves
On April 27, the Wisconsin DNR petitioned the U.S. Department of the Interior to delist the gray wolf pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The petition stated that Wisconsin had met and exceeded the goals of the federal and state recovery plans, and that the gray wolf “is clearly not in danger of extinction” now or in the foreseeable future.
The past is prologue, so here’s a thumbnail view of the wolf ‘s history in Wisconsin:
·      Prior to settlement, wolves occurred throughout the state with a population estimated to have ranged from 3000 to 5000 animals.
·      By the late 1950s wolves were considered completely eliminated from the state due to indiscriminate hunting, government bounties (in place from 1865 through 1957), and habitat loss.
·      In the late 1960s and early 1970s, wolves began to reappear in the state as they migrated one-by-one down from northeastern Minnesota.
·      In 1975, Wisconsin listed the gray wolf (also know as the eastern timber wolf) as endangered.
·      In 1979, statewide population monitoring began, and 25 wolves were counted in 5 packs. 
·      In the early 1980s, the state set a goal to downlist wolves to a threatened status once the population reached 80 wolves in winter for 3 or more years.
·      Between 1980 and 1990, there was a slow gradual spread of wolves across northwest and central Wisconsin.
·      In 1999, the state revamped its delisting goal to 250 wolves in winter, and a long-term management goal of 350 wolves. For comparison, Minnesota’s 2001 plan set their minimum goal at 1600 wolves while Michigan set its goal at 200 wolves.
·      In 1999, the state downlisted wolves from endangered to threatened when the state count reached 204.
·      In 2004, wolves were removed from the state threatened list when the state count hit 373 wolves. They were subsequently listed as protected animals.
·      In 2008-2009, 30 years after the first state count, the winter count indentified 626 to 662 wolves in 162 packs spread across extensive areas of northern and central Wisconsin. Breeding packs now occur in at least 33 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.
·      In 2010, most areas of suitable habitat in the state appear to be occupied, and the wolf population is likely stabilizing, Though the population will almost certainly exceed 700, the reality is all wildlife populations are dynamic, and no one really knows what the upper level will be.
One maddening factor in managing endangered species, including wolves, is that state and federal lists of endangered and threatened species may not overlap. Federal downlisting of the wolf has gone through a series of incarnations, with accompanying lawsuits, due in large part to the very wide geographical region that the policy has attempted to cover. Most recently, wolves were again federally listed as endangered in Wisconsin in July of 2009, and that is their current status.
Clearly, however, current science shows that wolves are not endangered in Wisconsin. Thus, downlisting the wolf to a protected status – the celebratory goal of all work with endangered species – is the appropriate next step in the legal process.
One should note that a major impetus for the WDNR’s desire to see the wolf downlisted is that they can then manage the wolf population. This gives the DNR the opportunity to remove wolves when depredation occurs, which begs the question: How serious is wolf depredation?
That’s very much a value judgment, but here are the numbers as a starting point for discussion: Since 2000, 270 cattle have been killed by wolves, an average of 27 per year. On occasion, other farm animals are killed, but in very low numbers. For instance, 3 sheep and 1 horse were killed by wolves in 2009. And since 2004, 13 to 24 dogs have been killed by wolves annually.
In response to this depredation over the last seven years, 174 wolves were captured and killed by government trappers, an average of 25 wolves per year. An additional 7 wolves were killed by landowners during that time. The total represents an average of around 6% of the wolf population every year, though fewer wolves were taken in 2009 due to the legal constraints imposed by the federal listing of wolves as endangered.
Unfortunately, illegal killing of wolves continues to occur by those who believe the endangered species law doesn’t apply to them. Eighteen wolves were illegally killed in 2009 (7 of which were collared wolves), representing 25% of the total wolves found dead last year. A 2009 study found that as many as 17% of hunters in wolf range express a willingness to illegally shoot wolves, a serious stain upon the reputation of hunters as ethical participants in wildlife management.
So, to return to the value-laden question of the seriousness of wolf depredation, while these annual depredation numbers are extremely low, it makes sense to give the DNR the necessary authorization to control wolves where depredation is occurring. Thus, it is my humble opinion that the delisting of wolves should move forward as quickly as possible.
However, I also believe the annual losses of dogs and farm animals to wolves are tiny in the overall scheme of things. Clearly, far more farm animals and dogs are lost to accidents, or a hundred other mortality factors, than to wolves. The populations of farm animals and dogs are not jeopardized by wolves. One wonders also, about the intense focus on wolves given that many dogs and farm animals are lost to other predatory animals, or, in the case of hunting dogs, are lost during bear hunting directly to the bears being chased.
Of course, none of the dogs or farm animals lost so far has belonged to me, and that’s important – I haven’t had to suffer the loss. But, while I would grieve if I lost my dog to a wolf, I would accept her loss as a fair price to pay to be able to experience an environment where all wild species are represented as nature intended. A forest without its top predators to control prey populations poses enormous ecological problems – we have learned this over and over in every state in this county. The first law of intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts, wrote Aldo Leopold long ago. We don’t need to throw any parts away in Wisconsin.
I would add that without the top predators, we also risk the loss of the entire feeling of the Northwoods as a truly “wild” place. If I’m uncomfortable with other predators living in the forest besides myself, I can visit the vast majority of the rest of the country where I can find a much tamer experience.
One last thought: It’s a slippery slope when humans begin determining the fate of animals in any ecosystem. If we choose to remove predators like wolves, why not also remove other predators like loons and otters and eagles that eat fish, or black bears and coyotes that eat fawns (and rabbits, squirrels and occasional house cats), or hawks and owls that eat songbirds and grouse? We, all six billion of us, are the top predator on the planet, and while we kill both wild and farm animals by the millions, we somehow fail to accept that tiny numbers of other predators should kill as well. It’s a double standard, one that should be eliminated once and for all.
The bottom line for me?  I say control depredating wolves when necessary, but accept, and celebrate, the rest of the wolf’s return. I believe it’s an exceptional privilege to be able to walk in an ecologically complete Northwoods, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Fourth of July Fireworks
            Curmudgeon that I’ve become, I find the incessant blasting of firecrackers during the Fourth of July to be highly aggravating. More importantly, I wonder about the impacts on local wildlife, particularly birds still on nest or raising young still in the nest. Visitors and residents alike should note that a great number of waterfowl and shoreland nesting birds, as well as other wildlife, live on and around our lakes. Please simply keep that in mind when choosing where, when, and to what sound level you choose to explode fireworks.