Loon Nests

Can the waves in the wake of a speedboat disrupt loon nests?

By Jackie Davis


Photo by JupiterImages/Photos.com/Thinkstock


The Question

Can the waves in the wake of a speedboat disrupt loon nests?

The Answer

They sure can (unfortunately). And they can drive loons off your lake permanently: If boat wake is constantly swamping or destroying nests, the loons may abandon the nesting site. That’s why it’s a good idea to steer clear of known nesting areas, plus boat slowly close to the shoreline—10 km/h or less within 30 metres of shore. This helps preserve other wildlife habitats, prevents erosion, and keeps your lake neighbours from getting irritated with you. (It’s also the law on most Ontario lakes.)

But, wait, let’s not pick on the powerboats; other watercraft—PWCs, plus canoes or slow-moving small boats that access shallow water—can disturb loons and nests too. It’s helpful to know the signs of a stressed-out loon, so you can back off, ASAP: For example, a loon vocalizing at you, or splashing across the water. This means “Get out of my face!”

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Michael Dickinson

Michael Dickinson

CENTURY 21 United Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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