Identifying Factors Affecting
Loon Nesting Success
Gaining a Clearer Picture
Since 2013, the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, in collaboration with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, has placed trail cameras at select nest sites across the Adirondack Park to document loon nesting behaviors, and to gain a better understanding of the threats that can cause a nest to fail.
Capturing loon activity on camera during the critical breeding season each summer gives us deeper insight into nesting behaviors, clutch size, hatch dates, disturbance levels, and predation patterns affecting nesting success. Cameras act as our eyes when field staff are not present, and help give a broader picture of how and why a nest might fail or succeed.
The results of this study, based on almost 100,000 photos collected over 4 years, have already helped guide management efforts to better protect loon nests in the Adirondacks. The intriguing images from this project help us inform visitors and residents in the Park to know the signs of loon nesting disturbance, enabling them to enjoy the lakes and ponds while giving loons the space they need to successfully hatch chicks.