Loon Nesting Program

Since 1992, we have been practicing loon preservation by constructing artificial nesting platforms. Loons prefer to nest on islands to distance themselves from predators such as raccoons. We belong to the Michigan Loon Preservation Association and you may consider joining also. They provide valuable loon information.

Our committee is active maintaining floating loon nests that are set as soon as the ice melts and are usually removed by early August. The nesting season may be early May to late June. Since loons may leave the nest if bothered by others, please keep your distance from the nests. After hatching, the chicks are weak and are vulnerable to many dangers. Please keep your distance so not to separate the chicks from the parents.

Our Loon Committee members are known as Loon Rangers. Anne Covy is Chair with members Scott Davis, Rich Gedert, Jim Hodgson and Dave Thompson. You may email or call the Loon Rangers with issues and questions: loon@douglaslake.org or 231-537-3269.

Loon Preservation Information

Loon Vocalization – Many loon calls and the meanings.
Prepare and Wait is a video of early nesting on Maple Bay 2017.
Hatch and Survive is a video of chicks on the Maple Bay 2017.

Douglas Lake nesting Information follows —

2021 Season:

See photos from onboard cameras. See 2021 Loon photos here.

  • 3/20/21 Loon sighted. Platforms are being prepared for the season.
  • 4/12/21 The nests are placed. The earliest nesting we’ve seen is May 2; the latest June 9. No nesting yet but there is activity.
  • 4/17/21 Had to clean a lot of goose poop off the Maple Bay nest.
  • 4/18/21 Playful activity on the NFT Bay nest.
  • 4/18/21 8:12pm With no previous activity, loon pair relaxing in Marl Bay.
  • 4/22/21 Mating activity on Maple Bay nest. Expect eggs by 4/28.
  • 4/30/21 Nesting has begun at Maple Bay. First egg today! We saw the 2nd egg 3 days later 5/3/21.
  • 5/10/21 Unusual year with geese getting on the loon platforms. We cleaned off a ton of goose poop from Marl Bay’s platform.
  • 5/11/21 Nesting has begun at Marl Bay. First egg on 5/11. Not sure when it was laid, but we can see a 2nd egg 5/14.
  • 5/23/21 Manitou Bay has 2 eggs. 1st one on 5/20, 2nd on 5/23.
  • 5/26/21 1st chick on Maple Bay hatched. 2nd chick hatched 5/29. Please keep your distance from the fragile chicks.
  • 5/30/21 North Fishtail has 2 eggs. 1st one on 5/28, 2nd on 5/30.
  • 6/5/21 1st chick on Marl Bay. 6/7 2nd chick hatched.


  • Maple Bay has 2 chicks as of 5/28/21.
  • Marl Bay has 2 chicks as of 6/7/21.
  • Manitou Bay has 2 chicks as of 6/17/21.
  • North Fishtail lost both eggs during nesting.

Please keep a safe distance from the loon nests and chicks.

2020 Season:

See photos from onboard cameras. See 2020 Loon photos here.

  • Loons will be on and off the platforms until nesting begins.
  • 4/12/2020 Maple Bay nest placed. Loon on the platform within minutes.
  • 4/14/2020 Marl Bay nest placed.
  • 4/17/2020 North Fishtail placed.
  • 4/23/2020 Saw 2 loons hanging out in Marl Bay.
  • 5/2/2020   2:47pm See 1 egg on Maple Bay.
  • 5/4/2020   4:31pm  See 2 eggs on Maple Bay.
  • 5/11/2020  2:17pm   See 1 egg on Marl Bay.
  • 5/14/2020 6:18pm   See 1 egg on North Fishtail nest.
  • 5/15/2020  8:07am  See 2 eggs on Marl Bay nest.
  • 5/18/2020  9:25am  See 2 eggs on North Fishtail nest.
  • 6/1/2020   The Maple Bay nest has 2 chicks.
  • 6/9/2020   The Marl Bay nest has 2 chicks
  • 6/11/2020  The North Fishtail nest has 1 chick so far.
  • 6/11/2020  6pm A 2nd chick hatched at North FT.
  • 6/12/2020  Loons are off the nest at North Fishtail.
  • 6/13/2020  Appears there is 1 chick at North Fishtail.

As of 6/13/2020, there are 2 chicks each at Maple Bay and Marl Bay. There is 1 chick at NFT Bay.

As of 7/24/2020, we have 5 chicks maturing on DL. This is a record year! Three active nests produced 5 healthy chicks.

Thank you for keeping your distance from the nests and from the chicks. Your consideration will help increase their chances of survival.


2019 Season – Nesting platforms were in 4 locations.

2019 Link to Photos of Nesting.

  • Loon Nests were placed from 4/26 to 4/28, as soon as ice cleared.
  • It appears nesting began on Maple Bay 5/9/19 at 5:21pm. Pictures confirm there are 2 eggs.
  • Confirm there is an egg on NFT Bay, 5/11/19 9:40am. Confirm there are 2 eggs on NFT Bay, 5/13/19, 5:18pm.
  • Marl Bay nesting began Sun. 5/12/19 – Mother’s Day.
  • Doesn’t look like the Northwoods nest will have nesting.
  • Start looking for loon chicks soon – estimating:
    • June 4 – 6 for Maple Bay
    • June 6 – 8 for NFT Bay
    • June 7 – 9 for Marl Bay
  • 6/4/19 4pm Maple Bay has 1 chick. 6/6/19 First photo of the day at 10am at Maple Bay. Appears a chick hatched during the night. Nest is clear.
  • 6/8/19 7:41am confirm 1 egg hatched on  NFT. 6/13/19 8:20am 2nd egg is gone. Loon off the nest.
  • 6/9/19 AM. One chick so far at Marl Bay.
  • July – One chick survived. It hatched on Maple Bay.


2018 Season:

  • 5/15/2018 One egg on Maple Bay nest.
  • 5/17/2018 There are 2 eggs on the Maple Bay nest.
  • 5/25/2018 Nesting may begin soon at North Fishtail Bay.
  • 5/28/2018 noon – One egg on North Fishtail Bay.
  • 5/30/2018 6:15am – Two eggs on North Fishtail Bay nest.
  • 6/9/2018 It appears nesting began on Marl Bay.
  • 6/11/2018 noon – We have a baby loon on Maple Bay!
  • 6/17/2018 North Fishtail Bay. One of the eggs disappeared.
  • 6/24/2018 We have a baby loon on North Fishtail Bay.
  • 7/6/2018 7am – Loon chick from Marl Bay nest.
  • 7/6/2018 3:40pm There are 2 loon chicks from the Marl Bay nest.
  • 7/7/2018 – There is 1 surviving loon chick from the Marl Bay nest.

2018 Link to Photos of nesting.


2017 Season: Two chicks were born on Maple Bay 5/30/17. One chick was born on the Nuttings Bay platform 6/8/17.

Link to photos of the 2017 nesting season.

Posted on March 6th, 2017 in Events, Programs.