- Associated Press - Saturday, July 15, 2017

FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) - Hundreds of bird enthusiasts are flocking to lakes and ponds around Maine to get an idea of how many loons there are in the state.

Maine Audubon is conducting the count Saturday and says more than 850 volunteers are participating. Maine has the largest common loon population in the eastern U.S., but the birds face threats around the country.

The Audubon has coordinated more than 30 loon counts in Maine over the years, and they happen annually. Counters get assigned areas where they count loons from shore or by boat. The entire count takes place from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. to avoid counting birds twice.

Audubon says long term population trends look positive for Maine loons. The 2016 count found more than 2,800 adult loons, twice the 1984 number.

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