“Banding” The Loons on Six Mile Lake

Cherie Hogan wrote:

The Association has an opportunity to have the first ever nesting pair of loons and their babies, the first ever on Six Mile Lake, banded. The bare-bones cost is $1300 and covers the expenses incurred by Common Coast Research & Conservation who provides the biologist who takes the feather and blood samples from each loon which is then shipped off to a lab for further processing.

Each loon receives a silver metal band with an ID# and three color bands which are unique to each individual. If a loon is found dead in it’s southern region then it is reported to the USFWS and they relay that info to the bander. The band tells which individuals return to which lakes here or elsewhere. They also tell us which pairs switch mates on the same lake.

Once a juvenile is banded the bands will enable us to tell the age of a bird. A juvenile was banded on Clam Lake in 1991 and again on Lake Bellaire in 2010 so we now know he is 21 years old. He is the second oldest loon in Michigan.

I am appealing to the Board and to the membership to allow this to be done, in part, through a special member’s donation fund to be set up especially for the loon project we have undertaken, and also through a portion of members dues already collected. Any member wishing to donate to this special loon fund please send in your check and earmark it for the loon fund.

We need to raise these funds quickly as the banding will take place this month. Anyone who wants to watch let us know and we will let you know when this will happen. Please donate to this effort!

I think I speak for everyone that the loons have truly been a spectacular part of life on Six Mile Lake this summer!! We hope this is only the beginning for Six Mile Lake loons.

Please donate to the banding effort!!





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