Submit Your Loon Sightings!

Alaska Alaska Department of Fish & Game | Birds 'n' Bogs

Canada Birds Canada | Canadian Lakes Loon Survey

Idaho Idaho Fish & Game | Online Observation Form

Maine Maine Audubon | ME Annual Loon Count

Michigan Michigan Loon Preservation Association | Michigan Loonwatch

Minnesota MN DNR | Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program & LoonWatcher Survey

Montana Montana Loon Society | Montana Loon Survey

Montana Glacier National Park | Common Loon Citizen Science Project

New Hampshire Loon Preservation Committee | NH Annual Loon Census & Field Volunteer

New York Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation | NY Annual Loon Census

Vermont Vermont Center for Ecostudies | VT July LoonWatch & Adopt-a-Lake

Washington Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife | WDFW Wildlife Reporting Form

Wisconsin Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College | LoonWatch

Wyoming Biodiversity Research Institute | Report Banded Loons

Get Involved

Loon monitoring projects across North America rely on volunteer observers to help track local populations of breeding loons. Do you live on a northern lake with loons? Contribute your sightings to research in several northern states and Canada! Find a project near you in the above list.


Track Loon Migration and Wintering Areas

Help us better understand common loon migration and wintering range! Loons are a migratory species: in the fall and spring you may encounter loons on waterways across North America as they move between northern breeding lakes and coastal wintering areas. You can submit loon sightings from any where in the world and at any time of year using free, public reporting apps like iNaturalist and eBird.

You can also join the the first ever study of loons wintering in a freshwater environment at Lake Jocassee in South Carolina. Volunteers can join the project during either the Winter Loon Research week or Spring Loon Migration Research week in March.


Our Programs and Partners

Learn more below about the National Loon Center’s direct involvement in research and our project partnerships.

Please consider supporting our work by Adopting a Loon!

Loon Productivity Surveys

Join us in surveying nesting loons on Cross Lake during our public excursions aboard the StewardShip. We document loon sightings, behaviors, and movements on the lake. Through our other programs, such as Junior Loon Biologist outings, we survey additional lakes on the Whitefish Chain for productivity & nesting success.

About The StewardShip

Loon Mortality Research

We're examining why loons die in Minnesota to help prevent further loon mortality and better understand loon survival. We ask Minnesota residents and visitors to watch for dead loons during the summer so they can be given a necropsy to determine the cause of death. Necropsies are conducted at the UMN Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Found a Dead Loon?

Nesting Platforms

We provide support to the MN DNR's Minnesota Loon Restoration Project (MLRP), through deploying artificial nesting platforms on selected lakes. These platforms help the MLRP and their federal partners study loon management needs across focal regions in the state.

MN Loon Restoration Project

Water Quality Testing

Through the MPCA's Volunteer Water Monitoring program, the NLC monitors water clarity on Cross Lake and stream sites on the Pine River. We also assist our partners at WAPOA in disseminating detailed water quality testing reports of the Whitefish Chain.

How to Volunteer

We are a supporting organization of the Winter & Spring Migration loon research on Lake Jocassee, SC run by Jocasse Wild. Jocassee Research

We funded the launch of a long-term loon banding project on the Whitefish Chain and surrounding lakes in Crow Wing County, MN. Report a Banded Loon

We help coordinators at Journey North recruit lake goers across North America to submit ice-out dates and first sightings of loons in the spring. Join Journey North

Conservation Status By State


The Common Loon is a Species in Greatest Conservation Need in Minnesota, a species of Special Concern in Wisconsin, and a Threatened Species in Michigan.


The Common Loon is a species of Special Concern in New York, a Threatened Species in New Hampshire, a species of Greatest Conservation Need in Maine, and a species of Special Concern in Massachusetts. Common loons were removed from the endangered species list for Vermont in 2005.


Common Loons are a Species of Concern in Montana, A Species of Greatest Conservation Need Tier 2 in Idaho, and a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Wyoming, where they are considered the state's rarest breeding bird.


The Common Loon has a state status of Sensitive in Washington. Red-throated Loons were listed as a Species of Conservation Need and Arctic Loons as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Alaska's 2015 Wildlife Action Plan.

Cover photo by Brandi Grahl. All others by NLC.