Usually the nests are deployed within 10 days of the ice melting from the lake. At Clearwater Forest it is part of our mission to be responsible stewards supporting and sustaining our resources also, to equip and train leaders to serve the world.
We are excited for the opportunity to learn more about the methods of the loon program and participate in the growth of the loon population on our lake; one of the things that makes Clearwater so unique and special! At the workshop we will be vegetating the 8 nests we place on Clearwater Lake and getting them ready to deploy as soon as the ice melts off.enter site
Nesting with the Loons
In addition, we will be constructing new nesting platforms to be deployed on other lakes in our region. We will learn all about nesting platforms and why they are important in the loon recovery process, how to build a nesting platform, and how to select a space on a lake with the proper nursery area for chicks. Build your own platform and get it ready to deploy, or donate to have a nest built and given to local lake associations to start their own loon nesting project.
You can even leave with plans to build your own nest in your local area. A common transient to Nova Scotia, the red-throated loon is often seen between mid-March and the end of April, as well as in October.
Many campers and vacationers feel disappointed if they do not have the opportunity to see a loon or hear its call. Highly vocal during the breeding season, loons have four distinct calls which they use in combination to communicate with each other. Their tremolo call sounds like a laugh and is believed to signal alarm. The yodel, a long, rising call with repetitive notes, which can last up to six seconds, is given only by the male to defend territory.
The wail is perhaps the most haunting of the loon's calls; it is used most often during social interactions with other loons. The hoot is a one-note call that is used by family members to maintain contact with each other. We tend to think of loons as strictly fresh water birds, but they will spend part of their lives on salt water.
Migrating as far south as Mexico, loons move to coastal waters for the winter. After the ice melts in spring they return to northern lakes to breed.
Rideau Canal - Building a Loon Nest
Loons can frequently be seen along Nova Scotia's coast during the winter months. Many of these birds will continue to live along the coast of Nova Scotia during the summer.
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Preferring shallow water relatively close to the shore, loons spend most of their time in or on the water, going to land only to nest. Because the loons' legs are attached far back on the body they appear quite awkward. On land loons walk with great difficulty.
Compare with Similar Species
In fact, they can not take off directly from land but must propel themselves along the surface of the water before taking off. Loons are excellent divers-they can stay under water for almost a minute diving to depths of 80 m ft. They can change their buoyancy by compressing their plumage and forcing air from their lungs to ride low in water or sink slowly out of sight. Under water they propel themselves by their huge, webbed feet; occasionally their wings may be used in performing turns. Long-lived birds, loons may live from 15 up to 30 years.
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Both sexes look alike but the males are generally larger. Adults weigh from 2. Building their nests close to the water allows the birds to slip directly from the nest to the water.
A Year of Loons
The same nests are often used from one year to the next. However, drastic changes in water levels could cause the nest to fail. High water can flood the nest, or very low water could make the nest inaccessible to the adults. The pair may successfully re-nest should such an event occur.
Loons are solitary nesters. Smaller lakes can support only one breeding pair, but larger lakes may have more than one pair with each pair occupying a bay or a section of the lake. Loons prefer privacy but not necessarily solitude. Loons and humans at moderate density can co-exist on lakes provided some undisturbed suitable shoreline or island is available for nesting.
The nests, made of coarse, decayed vegetable matter, are built on the ground. Sometimes eggs are deposited on a bare depression.
Building A Cedar Log Nest
Islands give protection from most predators and are the preferred nesting locations. One to three eggs are laid in June-two eggs are the most common.
The olive brown eggs with irregular dark spots weigh about grams 5. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs, usually for 26 to 31 days until hatching. The eggs will hatch within 24 hours of each other. Chicks can swim almost right away. Their brown-black down dries quickly, and the chicks join their parents out on the lake.
The chicks will often ride on the backs of their parents to rest, stay warm, and avoid predators such as gulls and snapping turtles. Chicks are fed by their parents until they are about eight weeks of age. After this time the chicks begin to dive for some of their own food. By 1 1 to 13 weeks of age the young birds can feed themselves and are able to fly.
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