Objective 1: Acquire Loon Habitat

A loon nest comprised of lake foliage. There are two eggs in the nest.

The MN DNR Nongame Wildlife Program’s top priority for the MN Loon Restoration Project is protecting lakeshore habitat through acquisition and/or easements.

Why Lakeshore?

Lakeshore plays an important role in the life cycle of loons.


Male and female loons will build their nest out of reeds and grasses close to the shore. Once the nest is complete, the pair takes turns incubating the eggs. Chicks emerge in 28 to 30 days.

Rearing Young

Adult loons initially rear the young near the nest and close to shore. Chicks swim and dive along side their parents. The adults will also carry their chicks on their back, most likely to protect the young from predators.

Migration Staging

Lakeshore also provide important migration staging areas. Loons will rest and feed along lakeshore as they travel to and from wintering grounds. Permanently protecting natural lakeshore and providing quality habitat is the best strategy for ensuring loons successfully breed, nest, forage, and rear young. We are focusing our efforts on areas with active nests and deep, clear lakes that are resilient to climate change, and which are currently threatened by human encroachment.

We are working with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to identify key lakeshore in our project focus area. We’ll be conducting loon surveys to narrow down which lakes have the best loon productivity (chick survival and nest success), so we can start looking for parcels to acquire. We’re also in the process of hiring a contractor to help us identify lake parcels and talk to landowners.

Back to top