Last Chance Audubon Society
Promoting understanding, respect, and enjoyment of birds and the natural world
through education, habitat protection and environment advocacy.
Photo credits - Bob Martinka
LCAS web site funded by a bequest from the estate of Nancy Tunnicliff
Christmas Bird Count
Birding in the Helena Area
Natural History Lecture Series
The Common Loon (Gavia immer) is a summer resident and breeder in Northwest Montana. It occurs in the Helena area as a common migrant bird in spring and fall where it can be reliably found on the Missouri River Reservoirs. Lakes with coves and islands are preferred nesting areas. Lakes must be large enough to permit loons to take flight in their lumbering, running take-offs from the water. Loons are sensitive to disturbance during the nesting period which has resulted in population declines in some areas and often result in boating restrictions at popular lakes to protect loon nesting habitat. Loons winter along ocean coasts and in bays and estuaries.
Loons are so highly adaptive as swimmers that their feet are located so far to the rear to the body they can barely propel themselves on land and generally only come ashore to nest which are constructed in the shallows on lakes. They feed primarily on fish but will include crustaceans, snails and aquatic insects in their diet.
The haunting voice of loons consisting of wails, yodels and tremolos are iconic sounds of lakeside cabins and campgrounds that make a stay in loon country an unparalleled experience. (Dan Sullivan) (Photo - MT Loon Common Loon Working Group)
Last Chance Audubon Society meets the second Tuesday of the month, September - May, 7:00 pm (excluding March) at St. Paul's Methodist Church, located at the corner of Cruse and Lawrence Avenues in downtown Helena. (map)
Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Love of Loons presented by Donna Love, Montana Loon Society.
Join Donna Love in this factual, fun-filled introduction to common loon physiology, behavior, and life cycle from courtship to migration. Famous for their eerie calls and magnificent fishing abilities, loons have long held a special place in many human cultures. Learn how many loons nest in Montana, if the state's loon population is stable, and what difficulties a Montana loon faces.