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Loons return faithfully to the same wintering sites year after year


PhysOrg

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Common Loons (Gavia immer) nest on lakes across Canada and the northern U.S., but every winter they disperse, many to the open ocean where they're difficult to track. It's been well established that many loons return to the same nesting sites every spring, but new research in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows for the first time that they are similarly faithful to their wintering sites. Over the course of nearly 15 years, James Paruk of the Biodiversity Research Institute and his colleagues used a combination of methods to investigate winter site fidelity at four locations across North America and found that birds had an 85% chance of returning to a site in subsequent years. Because loons' coastal wintering habitats can be severely impacted by oil spills and other human activities, this information has important implications for wildlife managers.

 

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