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Waterbirds Editor's Choice: Loon Research and Conservation in North America Waterbirds 37 (Special Publication I)

Nesting Yellow-billed Loon. Photo by Chris DeSorbo.
This special volume on loons, published by the Waterbird Society in collaboration with the Biodiversity Research Institute, presents 15 papers that further our understanding of Gavia behavior, life-history and population ecology, movements and migrations, habitat and landscape requirements and the impacts contaminants have had on loon populations. Here, the editor highlights two of those papers. The special loon issue is available online at http://www.bioone.org/toc/cowa/37/sp1
Waterbirds Editor’s Choice: Loon Research and Conservation in North America Waterbirds 37 (Special Publication I)

The song of the Common Loon (Gavia immer) is evocative of many areas of North America: spring would not be the same without this amazing song carrying over northern lakes. Using a custom-designed microphone array to collect landscape-scale recordings, Dan Mennill's bioacoustic analyses focused on understanding how their vocal output varied with time of day, time of year, and in response to variation in weather. Common Loons showed significant diel variation in vocal output, producing more wail, yodel, and tremolo calls at night than during the day; the wail, yodel, and tremolo calls transmit significantly farther at night than during the day. These results provide quantitative details of Common Loon vocal signaling strategies, revealing that this species calls when abiotic conditions are ideal for long-range signaling.

Mennill, D. 2014. Variation in the Vocal Behavior of Common Loons (Gavia immer): Insights from Landscape-level Recordings. Waterbirds 37 (Special Publication I): 26-36.

This open access article can be viewed at: http://www.bioone.or...5/063.037.sp105

Why do birds nest where they do? A new paper using Common Loons (Gavia immer) explored aspects of this question. Common Loons nest throughout the northern reaches of North America. Paul Radomsky and co-authors investigated shoreline attributes and nesting segments of lake shores on 35 lakes in north- central Minnesota. The resulting nesting habitat models were used to predict nesting sites for a small set of independent lakes. The ability to predict suitable Common Loon nesting sites should lead to the greater protection or restoration of these valuable areas and enhance conservation efforts across the state.
Radomsky, P. J., K. Carlson and K. Woizeschke. 2014. Common Loon (Gavia immer) Nesting Habitat Models for North-central Minnesota Lakes. Waterbirds 37 (Special Publication I): 102-117.

This open access article can be viewed at: