Biodiversity Research Institute
Biodiversity Research Institute
Show menu Hide menu
Support BRI
Support BRI

Adopt Your Own Loon

When you Adopt a Loon, you help support BRI’s efforts to band and monitor these magnificent birds. Much can be gained by tracking banded individuals. Field observations on unmarked populations have provided general knowledge, however, to more fully understand the species, marked individuals must be followed over time.

BRI has captured and color-marked more than 3,000 loons in 22 states and provinces. Through this effort, loons have now become the foremost species studied to determine the exposure and effects of mercury across North America.

 

What We've Learned from Banded Loons

Understanding loon life history is critical to conservation strategies. Information we’ve discovered through tracking individual loons includes:

  • Age for first year in breeding plumage: 2 years
  • Age at first breeding: 4 years
  • Oldest known marked individual: 22 years (and counting)
  • Average percent of loons who return to their breeding territory each year: 80%
  • Longest known return of an individual to a breeding territory: 13 years
  • Longest known return of the same pair to the same breeding territory: 9 years


Your support makes a difference!

 

It's Easy to Adopt a Loon

The adoption process is quick and simple. Click here to sign up. Once you do, you will receive a packet that includes:

  • A description of your loon's personal history (how old it is, its size and weight, what lake it resides on, and how many offspring the Loon has parented)
  • A personalized Adopt-a-Loon Certificate
  • A fact sheet on Common Loons and how mercury and lead affect loons
  • A Loon Appreciation poster and an 8" x 10" color loon photo.
 

Banded Chick

Left: The gray contour feathers begin to replace down on this banded 6 week old chick. Right: This same banded chick, now at 13 weeks of age, is able to fend for itself, and fully capable of flight.

Main photo: Bands on the right leg of this adult Common Loon are a unique identifier, allowing the bird to be tracked annually.
Left: The gray contour feathers begin to replace down on this banded 6 week old chick. Right: This same banded chick, now at 13 weeks of age, is able to fend for itself, and fully capable of flight.

Main photo: Bands on the right leg of this adult Common Loon are a unique identifier, allowing the bird to be tracked annually.
Left: The gray contour feathers begin to replace down on this banded 6 week old chick. Right: This same banded chick, now at 13 weeks of age, is able to fend for itself, and fully capable of flight. Main photo: Bands on the right leg of this adult Common Loon are a unique identifier, allowing the bird to be tracked annually.
 
Photo Credits: © Daniel Poleschook
Biodiversity Research Institute