Taking part in the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey (CLLS) is an excellent way to enjoy watching loons over the summer while contributing to loon research and conservation. To track loon chick survival through CLLS, you need to be at a lake in an area where loons breed at least three times over the summer:
- in June to watch for pairs of loons occupying the lake
- in July to look for newly-hatched chicks
- in August to record the number of chicks that have survived the summer
Each participant is provided with a survey kit and detailed instructions that explain the survey protocol. You decide which lake(s) you wish to survey within the Common Loon's breeding range; even lakes without loons provide valuable information. For most of Canada we recommend that the lake be a minimum of 10 hectares (25 acres) except in the Prairie provinces where loons have been observed nesting on smaller lakes.
All participants receive a paper kit by mail in mid-May (up to mid summer for late registrants). Surveyors have the choice of submitting their observations to Bird Studies Canada on paper or entering them online at Bird Studies Canada's website. All observations are to be submitted by 15 September.
The CLLS is a program of Bird Studies Canada, a non-governmental, charitable organization. All program costs are covered by membership fees and donations to Bird Studies Canada. Registration is an easy two-step process: just donate to Bird Studies Canada at the beginning of the year (ideally before April), and you will automatically receive an invitation to register for the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey in late March/early April.