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Research

Advancing Common Loon Research

Core to the mission of the NLC is to serve as a national leader in advancing loon and freshwater research and education. As of the summer of 2021, we are monitoring a study population in Crow Wing County, MN to gather long-term data on the common loons. Essential to this work is banding individual loons with colored bands; each loon receives a unique combination of one federal silver band and three colored bands. In 2021, 78 total loons were banded. In 2022, biologists from the USGS joined NLC researchers to band a total of 95 loons on the Whitefish Chain and surrounding lakes.

The data from this study population in Minnesota and that of a similar size in Wisconsin, which has been studied since 1993 under the Loon Project, will act as an early-warning system to identify patterns in loon populations. The National Loon Center will establish a Scientific Loon Council to catalyze important and collaborative scientific research on loons and freshwater ecosystems.

Watch: Researching Common Loons

Support this nationally significant project by mailing donations to:
National Loon Center
PO Box 642
Crosslake, MN 56442