Montana Public Radio

Common Loons: Guarding The Nest

Jul 25, 2014

Common loon (Gavia immer), Minocqua, WI. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit John Picken

"Montana's Common Loons," by Ben Turnock, read by Caroline Kurtz.

"Before the introduction of boats, the only disturbances loons had to worry about were from predators and other loons. But with motorboats on Montana's lakes, threats to nesting loons have grown. Wake from boats can splash into a loon nest, and the cold water can kill the incubating eggs. Boats that get too close to a nest will often flush the incubating adult, creating a chance occasion for hungry predators to get a tasty egg snack. In a few cases, loon chicks have been accidentally run over by boaters. Fortunately, the Montana Common Loon Working Group has worked hard to ensure that we can enjoy Montana's great water systems without disturbing loons."

(Broadcast: Fieldnotes, July 27th & 28th, 2014)

Nest of a common loon, with eggs
Credit MN DNR