Loon Watch

Each year, Bridge Lake is home to families of ‘gavia immer’, the common loon. There is nothing quite as evocative of the spirit of the northern lakes as the call of the loon.

Loon on nest, Bridge Lake 2010

The survival of loons has always been tenuous. Typically only two eggs are laid in a nest that is vulnerable to natural predators (dogs, fox, mink, gulls, eagles ...) and wave action (storms, motor boats ...). Chicks that successfully hatch from the eggs often fall victim to predators or their own aggressive siblings. Loss of suitable shoreline habitat adds to the challenge for nesting pairs.

We are encouraging all users of our lakes to boat responsibly and protect the shoreline. To learn how you can help to protect our loons read the following short information sheet: Loon Friendly Lakes or go to the beautiful web site of the Michigan Loon Preservation Association

The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey began in Ontario in 1981. The intent is to track trends in loon populations and learn more about human impact on those populations. Over 1000 volunteers across Canada contribute to the survey database by filing reports once a month over the summer indicating the number of loons on the lake, the number of breeding pairs, the number of successful hatchings and the number of surviving young. Since 2009, volunteers are conducting the survey on Bridge Lake.

In 2022 the lake produced 8 loon chicks of which 6 survived; this is down from last year's record-breaking number of 11. The maximum number of observed adults was slightly lower than last year's, but the number of mated pairs was up by 2. Of the three man-made loon platforms on the lake, the one in Centennial Bay was successfully used again and it produced one chick this time.

Due to the fluctuation of volunteers in the first years of he observation period, data for the north and east end of the lake are not consistent year-to-year. However, a complete set of data on the loon population on Bridge Lake exists for the south-west part of the lake: