Observations on Arctic and Red-throated Loons at Storkersen Point, Alaska

  • Robert D. Bergman
  • Dirk V. Derksen
Keywords: Animal food, Animal reproduction, Bird nesting, Loons, Wildlife habitat, Alaska, Northern, Storkersen Point


Habitat requirements of arctic loons (Gavia arctica) and red-throated loons (Gavia stellata) were studied at Storkersen Point on the Arctic coastal plain of Alaska from 1971 to 1975. Nest success ranged from 28 to 92 per cent and 33 to 78 per cent for arctic and red-throated loons, respectively. Loons were ecologically isolated in their feeding habits and use of wetlands. Arctic loons fed to their young invertebrates captured in the nest pond, and red-throated loons fed to theirs fish captured from the Beaufort Sea. Both species preferred islands as nest substrates, but arctic loons utilized large ponds with stands of Arctophila fulva wetlands for nesting, whereas, red-throated loons used smaller, partially-drained basins most frequently.