On Wednesday evening, July 30, wildlife biologists from BioDiversity Research (www.briloon.org) completed banding loons on Watchic Lake. They were able to get both the male and female swamp loons and the male island loon banded. The female island loon didn’t want to cooperate. The chicks legs are not big enough to be banded at this time. Capture was done with a large net and a very bright light. Several measurements are taken including blood samples, throat swabs, and the birds weight, then bands are applied and the loon is released. It takes about 35-40 minutes to process a loon from capture to release. Overall, a very interesting evening!
Banding allows Maine Audubon and other similar organizations to identify individual loons to understand their history and provide better data for loon population models. While the loons are not harmed, they can be quite noisy during. You can learn more here about the Maine Audubon Loon Project. Thanks to Ben Tripp for providing this information.