The Common Loon is projected to lose much of its breeding range as a result of climate change. It has already vanished from some former nesting areas, as humans crowd lakes in the summer and acid rain reduces food supplies in its breeding range. The volunteer "Loon Rangers" help protect some breeding grounds in the Northeast by patrolling lakes and educating the public about conservation.
By 2080, the Common Loon could lose more than half of its current summer range and 75 percent of its current winter range, according to an analysis of climate models by Audubon. As the climate warms, the loons are likely to shift northward during both seasons. The extent to which the Common Loon can adapt to the changes in its habitat is unknown, but Audubon's models indicate it is "all but certain" that the birds will be gone from Minnesota by the end of the century.
About This Species
The iconic yodeling and moaning of the Common Loon have made it a symbol of wilderness, its calls echoing day and night in the north woods during summer. During the winter, the loons are silent, and they inhabit coastal waters and large lakes in the South. There, they feed in solitude and may gather in loose flocks at night.