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  Common Loon  
  (Gavia immer)  

Common Loon.jpg


Besides gracing Canada's 1$ coin, the haunting songs of the Common Loon are well known to nearly all summer visitors of northern lake country in Quebec. This species nests only on relatively pristine lakes; small lakes generally have only one pair, while large lakes can have a number of territories. Nests are hidden along lake shores or on islands, where nest success is much higher, probably due to a lack of nest predators. Loons may mate for life, and lay only 1-2 eggs per year. After hatching, the downy chicks piggyback on their parent's back for their first three weeks of life. Quebec is home to about 50,000 Common Loons, most found in the Laurentians, the Abitibi Upland, Anticosti lsland, and the Lower St. Lawrence. Human activities such as fishing, boating, and jet skiing adversely affect Common Loons, and a number of Loon populations in Southern Quebec, including Mount St. Hilaire, Mount Saint-Bruno, and Mount Yamaska have been lost. Loons are also vulnerable to lake acidification, which reduces the fish and invertebrate food base that the Common Loon relies upon.

  Distribution of the Common Loon in Quebec:  
  distribution map.gif  



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