In both research weeks expect total immersion into the lives of loons. Our days are spent observing and studying loons, our evenings spent discussing the day and enjoying talks by Dr. Mager, Dr. Paruk, and on some evenings talks by zoom with some of the country’s leading loon conservationists and researchers.
Daily Life in the Field - Winter Research
When you arrive, the researchers will conduct an orientation
and brief you on the work you’ll be doing. Field work will
begin on the second day, where you will be involved with
daytime loon behavior observations, including the use of
photography and videography to record individual and group
loon behaviors and quantify the molting sequence and
pattern.. In the evenings, you’ll head back to the field station
for dinner, an informal talk by Dr. Mager, and time to relax.
Nighttime capture and banding of loons will be attempted at
least one of the nights, weather permitting.
Daily Life in the Field - Spring Research
We are truly looking forward to having you join us for this unique
migratory experience, as witnessing the departure of hundreds of
loons from Lake Jocassee on some mornings is surely one of the
most unrecognized natural wonders of the Blue Ridge Escarpment
region. Field days for this experience will be distinctly different than the Winter Research days. We will depart the dock between 6 and 6:20am (approximately one hour before local sunrise) to travel
across the lake and position ourselves to watch loons departing from the lake (which occurs between approximately 30 minutes before sunrise and 9am). However, weather conditions can of course affect daily timing. After most loons have left, we'll spend another hour or so assessing the activity of the remaining loons, then head in for a two-hour break/siesta/lunch. We'll return to the lake around noon to watch for incoming loons and/or do a loon count at various locations on the lake; this will last approximately 3-4 hours. During most evenings, we'll head back to the field station for dinner, an informal talk by Dr. Paruk, and time to relax.