We work hard to maintain good data on survival, territory settlement, territory defense and reproductive behavior of loons in our study population. It is a big job; there are opportunities for others to help.
Several field research assistants each year collect data on loon behavior in the study area with regular visits to study lakes and sometimes outlying lakes. Assistants are usually college students interested in animal behavior, ecology or wildlife studies. Students apply for the positions in January for field work between May and August of the same year.
There are opportunities for graduate study of loons through Dr. Lauren Riters at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who has joined the project recently as a collaborator.
Folks who live on or visit our study lakes and observe interesting territorial behavior or reproductive events such as nesting or chicks can e-mail me, especially if they are able to see most or all of the colored leg bands on loons’ legs or get good photos of color bands. Most valuable are reports of territorial battles and reports of nests that fail quickly. We often miss such events and must piece together what happened afterwards.