Loon Survey

Volunteers are needed to observe and report on our loons. This is a free, covid-safe activity for individuals or families who enjoy nature, organized by the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey (CLLS) of Birds Canada . Participants have monitored Common Loon chick hatch and survival since 1981, revealing a disturbing decline in loon chick production in Canada.

Our lake is too large for one person to monitor alone, but a group of volunteers responsible for different sections could cover off the whole area and get a comprehensive picture of loon abundance and breeding success on Palmerston Lake. Survey participants would need to dedicate at least three days, visiting their section of the lake once in June (to see if loon pairs are on territory), once in July (to see if chicks hatch), and once in August (to see if chicks survive long enough to fledge). Ideally a pair of binoculars would be on hand dock-side and when out boating to keep an eye on the loons from a respectful distance.

If you are interested in monitoring a section of the lake, please get in touch with Mary Rothfels (mary.rothfels@gmail.com), a Palmerston cottager and loon observer for 30 or so years. She will provide the necessary instructions and take responsibility for online reporting of your observations. This is an extremely well-run national survey that will add a new dimension to your cottage experience and inspire youth to value and conserve wildlife.