Habitat Selection by Common Loons
- Strong, Paul I.V.
University of Maine Graduate School
Selection of breeding ground habitats by common loons (Gavia immer) was investigated. Nesting and chick rearing areas and areas used during non-reproductive activities were characterized in large lakes. Year to year re use if nest sites and chick rearing areas was quantified. Previously used nest sites were barricaded in some territories to evaluate flexibility in nest site selection.
Loons preferred islands and deadwaters over mainland nest sites. Nest site reuse was 0.82 (18/22) on remote lakes in northern Maine, 0.78 (43/55) on a lightly developed lake in New Hampshire, and 0.84 (55/64) and 0.88 (29/33) on two heavily developed lakes in New Hampshire. Reuse of old nest sites was not related to previous or subsequent nest success (p>0.05)
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