Loon Network http://loonnetwork.org Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed – Northern Michigan, USA Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:12:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3 Banding Loons http://loonnetwork.org/banding-loons/ http://loonnetwork.org/banding-loons/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 18:29:10 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=425 Loon banding has only occurred for the past 25 years so there is much we do not know about these majestic birds. However, with continued research we can start to understand the Common Loon better and discover more effective ways to increase its survival. To learn more about loon banding visit the Studying Loons page.

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Support Loon Conservation http://loonnetwork.org/support-loon-conservation/ http://loonnetwork.org/support-loon-conservation/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 16:14:22 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=394 Your contributions go to help protect and conserve the Threatened Common Loon in Michigan. Once abundant throughout Michigan the Common Loon has witnessed a drastic decline due to habitat loss and human development. Your donations can help the loon regain quality breeding habitat and once again thrive in Michigan. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today!

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Watching Loons http://loonnetwork.org/watching-loons/ http://loonnetwork.org/watching-loons/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:56:23 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=377 While loons are a prominent and conspicuous presence on northern lakes, they can be susceptible to disturbance, especially while they are nesting. Therefore, it is important to observe them in an appropriate manner to make sure you are not the cause of a nest failure.

Nesting: Loons can not walk on land, so they place their nests right along the shoreline. They prefer islands, when they are available. As a result,these nests are often exposed and susceptible to disturbance. During the month-long incubation period, adults remain vigilant. If they are approached too closely, then they will leave the nest.

How close is too close? Loons vary considerably in the distance that makes them uncomfortable enough to leave the nest. When adults leave the nest, eggs can be exposed to predators from the air such as eagles or from the shore such as foxes. If the adults are forced to stay away too long, the eggs may not stay viable.

To do your part to protect nesting loons, become familiar with nesting areas in our watershed. Often these areas are marked with buoys. Please give these nesting islands a wide berth, at least 75 yards/half the length of a football field, during May, June and early July,until the loons hatch their young. In areas without buoys, avoid protected shoreline, especially marshy areas, where you may see a single loon during the nesting season. The single loon may be an adult fishing and taking a break from incubating the eggs.

To learn more about observing loons click the Loon Watching link!

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Watershed Monitoring Report http://loonnetwork.org/watershed-monitoring-report/ http://loonnetwork.org/watershed-monitoring-report/#comments Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:31:58 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=340 We have 18 pairs in the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed this year: 7 pairs did not nest, 3 pairs nested on natural islands and 8 pairs nested on platforms. So far, 4 of the nests on platforms have produced 6 chicks. Thanks to all of the loon specialists for braving the elements to install the platforms this spring.


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Something New! http://loonnetwork.org/something-new/ http://loonnetwork.org/something-new/#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 22:23:40 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=337 Clam LakeFred & Susan Sittel observed a chick climb back on the platform on its own. They also saw the two adults on the nest platform with the new chicks.


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Can you find the nesting loon? http://loonnetwork.org/can-you-find-the-nesting-loon/ http://loonnetwork.org/can-you-find-the-nesting-loon/#comments Sat, 01 Jun 2013 22:18:58 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=332 Benway LakeWhile doing Marine Patrol in the Upper Chain on Sunday, Paul Sax’s marine patrol partner, Colton Drew, spotted a natural loon nest about 20 yards from the channel connecting Benway Lake and Wilson Lake.

Mother Nature at her best!

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Botulism Links http://loonnetwork.org/botulism-links/ http://loonnetwork.org/botulism-links/#comments Thu, 10 Jan 2013 20:22:07 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=351 From the Department of Natural Resources:

From Michigan.gov:


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Avian Botulism Plaguing Lake Michigan; Common Loons Suffering http://loonnetwork.org/avian-botulism/ http://loonnetwork.org/avian-botulism/#comments Sun, 23 Dec 2012 02:36:54 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=325 Please see the article from Audubon Magazine:


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Local Volunteers Monitor Beaches http://loonnetwork.org/local-volunteers-monitor-beaches/ http://loonnetwork.org/local-volunteers-monitor-beaches/#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 23:16:04 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=319 THE WATERSHED CENTER- Grand Traverse Bay
October 30, 2012

Local Volunteers Monitor Beaches

TRAVERSE CITY, MI- Local volunteers around northern Lake Michigan are monitoring beaches as part of an effort to record the number of birds dying from botulism E. After thousands of birds died in 2007, regional environmental organizations created the Northern Lake Michigan Botulism Network to assist government agencies in monitoring hundreds of miles of beaches.

The Botulism Network has trained volunteer Beach Rangers to identify the common bird species found on the beach. Banded birds, especially common loons, are collected and sent to Lansing for an autopsy. Common loons are classified as a threatened species in Michigan.

Reports for each county are compiled by The Watershed Center and then sent to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment.

Anyone interested in becoming a Beach Ranger should contact The Watershed Center. Beach walkers who encounter dead birds on Lake Michigan are encouraged to contact the Botulism Network coordinator in their county:

Grand Traverse – Andy Knott, The Watershed Center (231.941.1514)
Leelanau& Benzie – Mark Breederland, Michigan Sea Grant (231.922.4620)
Antrim – Peg Comfort, LOON NETWORK (231.676.0566)
Charlevoix & Emmet – Kevin Cronk, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (231.347.1181)

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Loon Patriarch Found Dead http://loonnetwork.org/loon-patriarch-found-dead/ http://loonnetwork.org/loon-patriarch-found-dead/#comments Tue, 16 Oct 2012 17:32:43 +0000 http://loonnetwork.org/?p=313 Northport, MI

September 29, 2012

Loon Patriarch Found Dead

loon patriarch

Joe Kaplan, Common Coast Research and Conservation, and the Patriarch on Lake Bellaire, 2010

NORTHPORT– The Patriarch of common loons in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan was found dead on a Lake Michigan beach on Saturday September 29, 2012. He was the oldest banded loon (age 21) still living in northern Michigan. Common loons are classified as threatened in Michigan and may live 40- 50 years.

The Patriarch was born on May 25, 1991 to a pair of common loons nesting along the east end of Clam Lake in Antrim County. He was captured by research biologist, David Evers, from Western Michigan University on June 28, 1991 and given a USFWS metal band and colored bands. He was one of the first common loons banded in Michigan.

After spending several years as a juvenile in the Gulf of Mexico, the Patriarch returned to northern Michigan and established a territory near the mouth of the Intermediate River on Lake Bellaire in Antrim County in 2001.

For several years he returned to this territory but did not successfully reproduce. In 2003, he moved his territory to Lake Bellaire’s South Arm and nested along the northwestern shore of the Grass River Natural Area. He and his mate successfully reproduced from 2004-2012.

On July 10, 2010, the Patriarch was recaptured by research biologist, Joe Kaplan, from Common Coast Research and Conservation, Inc. (Escanaba, MI). He was given new bands (USFWS Band #1018-04237) and an archival tag as part of a ten-year research study conducted by the Elk River Chain of Lakes LOON NETWORK. The LOON NETWORK is a project of Michigan Audubon.

The Patriarch was recaptured on June 22, 2011 and the archival tag was removed. He appeared to be in good health with a mate and 2 chicks. He returned in 2012, mated and again produced 2 chicks.

During his life, he flew more than 42,500 miles during the spring and fall migrations, according to biologist, Joe Kaplan.

The Patriarch may be survived by 16 offspring, six have been banded.

The Necropsy Record written by Tom Cooley, MDNRE- Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing, determined the cause of death was Botulism E. Avian botulism is a paralytic, often fatal disease of birds caused when they ingest toxins. It is believed these toxins accumulate in the fatty tissues of the non-native round goby, now a common fish in Lake Michigan. The disease has been associated with fish and water-bird die-offs on Lake Michigan.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the LOON NETWORK, P.O. Box 117, Alden, MI 49612 or donations can be made online at www.commonloon.org.

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