Tips for boaters, cottagers and other lovers of Loons & Lakes:
To many Canadians a lake is just not right unless it has loons. Their mournful wails and ear-piercing calls are true symbols of Canadian wilderness. But, the common Loon is struggling on Canadian Lakes.
Acid Rain: Loons are mainly fish eaters. When acid rain reduces the fish population the common loons suffers. Acid rain also leaches mercury & other toxic metals from the ground causing loons to get toxic doses when chemicals build up in the food chain.
Shoreline Development: When homes & cottages are built along lakes, the shoreline habitat that provides nesting sites & protective cover for Loons may be wiped out. Development, and even camping on islands and deserted shore areas may displace loons or drive them to more secure nesting sites.
Lead Sinkers & Jigs: Loons have no teeth, so they grind their food in their gizzards with small pebbles plucked from the bottom of the lake. They may pick up lead sinkers when collecting the pebbles. The lead, once absorbed in the blood will poison the bird. Discarded fish line and hooks also are a serious threat to loons. A loon may become tangled in a fish line and struggle until exhausted, then dye.
Water Level Fluctuation: Fluctuating water levels during May to July may either flood or leave the nesting areas to dry.
Water Craft: Canoeing & kayaking to close to the shore may disturb loons and threaten the nesting area. Jet skis and power boat operators, not only make unwelcome noise for the loon, but the waves (wash) from the vessel may damage nesting areas. Very fast boats may also threaten loons as they swim out into a lake.
Nest Predators: Racoons, skunks, bears and sea gulls feed on loon eggs and loon chicks.
For additional information contact Canadian Lakes Loon Survey. 1 888 448 2473 or