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  • Students Answer Common Loon Challenge Question # 4

    Challenge Question # 4:
    "How do you think mercury gets into a loon's body? That is, how might mercury from the atmosphere end up in a loon?"

    From NEW YORK
    "We think mercury in the atmosphere could affect the loons because the atmosphere would get moist and the clouds could soak up the mercury and the rain would contain mercury. It would get into the water that the loon swam in and drank."
    Mike and Nick from Miss O'Connor's and Mrs. Mueller's fourth grade
    class in Rochester, NY. Lchislett@mail.rh.monroe.edu

    From VERMONT
    "Third graders from Ferrisburgh Central School, Ferrisburgh, Vermont think the food that it eats. Mercury gets into the air from factories, cars, and fires. Then it travels in the air and the loons breathe it in. It also goes into the water and the food that the loons eat."
    Jamie, Elizabeth, and Jordan
    Linda Thurber (lthurfer@pop.k12.vt.us)

    "The loons get mercury poisoning from the air and the little fish they eat. The little fish have mercury in them."
    Madeline, for the Loon Team
    Musem Magnet 3rd Grade

    "Dear Loon Researchers, Our class of 6th graders from St. Mary's School in Alexandria Mn came up with the following guesses about how mercury gets into a loon's body. rain. The fish get the mercury in them and then the loons eat the fish and that poisons them. Then we guess that when they clean off their feathers, maybe they got some on their feathers and then it gets in their mouths. One other way they could get them we guess is that it could get on their skin when they are changing feathers, because maybe at that time their feathers aren't water proof and their skin could be affected. Our last guess is that the noise polution from boats might have causes the loons to move to another location and before they moved they got the mercury in their systems because of the pollution of the water from the boats.
    St. Mary's School, Alexandria, MN

    We think mercury gets into loons by objects with mercury like paint and lamps that get thrown into the dump. The objects permeate the soil, and get into plant roots. Then fish eat the plants. After that, the loon eats the fish. This is how we think mercury gets into a loon's body.
    Sincerely, Sarah LeRoy, Elaine Wah, Catherine Wah & Ben LeRoy

    From ONTARO
    "Mercury gets in a loon's body becauseof the burning of garbage and coals. The acid of the garbage and coal travel up into the sky and clouds. When it rains, etc., or the snow melts, this material is in the rain or snow and it runs-off into the lakes or rivers, or just goes right into the lake. The fish and loons live and swim in these lakes, and the loons eat the fish. The loon gets mercury from the water and from the fish in the water.
    Steffanie Armstrong & Shannon Patterson, gr. 5
    Bobcaygeon Public School, Bobcaygeon, Ontario (bob1@knet.flemingc.on.ca)

    From ARKANSAS:
    "Mercury falls from the sky in Lake Michigan & contaminates the water which the loon's favorite kind of fish live in. When the loon's dive to get the fish which have the mercury in them. The loon's blood stream gets the mercury from the fish."
    Joseph Ramos,Charleston Elem.
    Gloria Edwards (GEDWARDS@cps.wsc.k12.ar.us)

    I think mercury gets into a loon's body by something it eats. Maybe the thing that the loon eats ate something else that had mercury in it.
    Jaime Cloud
    Ms. Heilman (userid@oak.kcsd.k12.pa.us)

    From MAINE
    "My name is Jake Crosby. I am a fifth grader at Edgecomb Eddy School in Edgecomb, Maine. I think the mercury gets into the water by acid rain and pollution. The fish breathe the water and become contaminated. The loons eat the fish and get mercury into their bodies."

    From (ncashman@aldus.northnet.org) "The mercury gets in the loon when it eats fish from the water that has the mercury in it."