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Looney for Loons?


    Now here's a summer job I could handle: Counting loons in Glacier National Park.  And as luck would have it, the folks at Glacier are looking for some volunteers interested in spending the summer months counting loons on the park's lakes throughout the nesting season. Heck, they'll even train you on the proper protocol for counting.
Npsloon_copy     Common loons, you see, are considered a "species of special concern" in Montana. And Glacier just happens to be home to an estimated 20 percent of Montana's breeding loons.
    If you're interesting, contact Jami Belt at 406-888-7986, or email her at [email protected] You gotta make your mind up fast about this, though, as there are only two more training sessions: one will be held at West Glacier on June 12th, another will be in St. Mary on June 20. Enroll in one of these four-hour courses and you'll be taught the ins and outs of loon behavior and how to spot them and how to make sure what you think is a loon isn't really a merganser.
   Once you go through training, you'll be placed into one of two categories. "Long-term" observers will be assigned to one of 45 Glacier lakes considered to be hot spots for nesting loons and be expected to monitor that lake throughout the nesting season, which runs from May through August. "Short-term" observers will be called on to help out during Montana's annual Loon Day bird count in the park on July 15th. On that day observers will help determine if a particular lake in the park is visited by single loons, paired loons, or loons with offspring.

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