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Loons are dying in and around the Great Lakes by the thousands, and the die-offs are moving closer to Minnesota. A type of botulism is going through the food chain.
Amy McMillan, who teaches biology and researches population genetics of loons at Buffalo State College, said she and others have watched the bird die-offs spread through four of the five Great Lakes. "All of these lakes are such major flyways for migratory birds, among the largest in the world," she said. "That's very frightening."
Initial tests for avian influenza were negative, but officials say the cause of the bird illness hasn't been determined yet.