US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Zoo Biology 9999 : 1–12 (2014)


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Common loon chicks were reared in captivity in association with studies to evaluate the effects of radiotransmitter implants and to assess the ecological risk of dietary methylmercury. Here we report on hatching and rearing methods used to successfully raise chicks to 105 days of age. We experienced a 91.5% hatch rate, and 89.6% of loon chicks survived to the end of the study at 105 days. Baseline information on observed rates of fish consumption, behavioral development, and growth patterns are provided. Husbandry techniques are provided that should prove valuable to wildlife rehabilitators caring for abandoned or injured loons, and biologists contemplating methods for restoring loons to areas within their former breeding range.