Sacred Minnesota loons could meet oily end thanks to BP

This is a BP pelican. It could be a loon.

This is a BP pelican. It could be a loon.

Sure, we're sad BP's killing the coastal economy in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida -- and maybe a big chunk of the Eastern seaboard. Yes, we're heartbroken over those images of the flailing brown pelicans. But messin' with our loons? Come on. Now we really have a good reason to worry about BP's massive oil drilling fail in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here's the deal: Adult loons, like all smart Minnesotans, migrate to southern climes for the winter, especially the Gulf of Mexico.

In normal years, they molt and feed before heading home. This year -- hardly normal -- they stand a good chance of getting slimed, and wildlife biologists are worried about what that means for the migration.

"We have juvenile loons down there right now, and we don't know what will happen to them," she said. "Oil can have a direct impact on their mortality, but it can also disrupt the food chain. We certainly have a lot of concerns," DNR's Pam Perry told the Pioneer Press. ""We're all feeling kind of helpless about this."