Volunteers are out on a number of index lakes around the state counting loons for the annual survey.   The DNR’s Lori Naumann says the state has been counting loons for the past 40 years:

“We do have a really robust data set that shows are population is stable at about 12-thousand loons. And that’s even since the deepwater horizon oil spill and we know that some of our loons were in the Gulf during that time.”

The only other state with a larger loon population is Alaska. Loons can fly more than 75-miles an hour and scientists believe they can live for 30 or more years.