Birds Canada- Canadian Lakes Loon Survey is now open with restrictions

Latest news about the 2020 Canada Loon Survey received from Bird Studies Canada

We miss you and we’re hoping you’ll join again for the 2020 season.

Dear Canadian Lakes Loon Survey Participant

Thank you for your continued support of the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey.

We know it has been very difficult and challenging for all of us to abstain from visiting our favourite lakes and surveying loons when we enjoy them so much, but this has been necessary to help ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone.
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We are happy to announce that the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey is now open with restrictions and can be conducted following the instructions provided after this email and available on the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey volunteer portal (see I invite you to join the 2020 season (see page 1 and 2 of this letter), but please carefully review the COVID-19 safety protocols (page 3) prior to registering or attempting to survey.

Please note that due to COVID-19 we are still working from home and cannot provide paper materials as we normally do. Go ahead and register for a paper kit – as that is what we will send in 2021, but for 2020, we ask you to please use the survey materials that are readily available through the new volunteer portal. If you are unable to use this option please let us know and we will email you your materials. As a last resort, we can mail you a copy of last year’s instructions and data form.

By registering for the survey through the volunteer portal on NatureCounts you are showing us that you have reviewed, understood, and are willing to obey the safety protocols and will conduct your actions as appropriate.

Registering for the 2020 season of the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey

I am delighted to announce the completion of the new Birds Canada website (, the new CLLS website (, plus your loon survey data and volunteer profiles are now available through the new CLLS volunteer portal ( The new online data entry system will open in May, and should work across all operating systems and all web browsers.

I would also like to remind you that we need to confirm your annual registration for the 2020 survey year. To do this, please complete the following two-step registration process:
Go to the CLLS website at and then to the CLLS volunteer portal and follow these steps.
1. Create a NatureCounts account – even if you have no plans of entering loon data online. Look for the Sign up option at the top of the CLLS volunteer portal main page. If you have any concerns about registering online please contact Kathy at
a. For those who have used NatureCounts in the past you will need your pre-existing NatureCounts username and password.
b. For those who are new to NatureCounts but had a loon survey data account in the past, you will need to use your previous loon survey data account login (participant number) as well as your previous loon survey data account password. If you cannot recall what those are, there is a password reset option available (requires the email associated with your loon survey data account), or you can request your participant id from Kathy at
2. Confirm your survey plans by signing back in.
a. Once you are signed into the CLLS volunteer portal, you will see a yellow box that asks you to confirm that you intend to participate and what type of survey kit you would like.
b. If you have already informed us of your plans, you will not see a yellow box.

While logged into NatureCounts please help us ensure we have all of your information correct. Please review and update if necessary the information in your new NatureCounts profile (located in the upper right-hand corner under the header, see image), being especially careful to ensure that your mailing address and email are correct.

While the survey season has been on hold our efforts on behalf of the Common Loons and lakes have not. During this time our staff has been working hard and have published one scientific paper as well as these two blogs relating to loon life history and loon research:

Finally, we do not expect you to donate when you register for the loon survey. However, please keep in mind that the CLLS is entirely supported by Birds Canada members and any donations are greatly appreciated:

Thank-you so much for your continued support and participation in this important program. Materials will be distributed by mail and email in May.

Kathy Jones
Volunteer Manager,
Canadian Lakes Loon Survey

Canadian Lakes Loon Survey (CLLS)
Safety protocols under COVID-19

Below are the safety protocols that Birds Canada CLLS volunteers must follow to conduct surveys at this time:

• All federal, provincial, and regional public health guidelines, orders, and recommendations, etc., must be followed at all times (e.g., stay home if you’re sick, 2-m social distancing, practice careful hygiene, etc.)
• Restrictions in some locations may mean that doing CLLS surveys is not possible; it is your responsibility to know, understand, and obey all restrictions that apply to your situation.
• Surveys and travel to survey locations are to be conducted only by individuals already regularly living in the same household to avoid moving the virus between households (unless official restrictions in your area allow otherwise).
• All food and any other required supplies should be taken from one’s household and surveyors should go to all extents possible to not interact with anyone or anything, except to obtain gasoline or other necessities, in which case careful precautions to avoid spreading or contracting the virus must be followed.
• If you require landowner permission to survey, phone or email in advance of each survey and await confirmation before entering the property, as permission that was granted previously may no longer be valid due to evolving COVID-related restrictions.
• All regular safety procedures must be followed (e.g., review and carefully follow boating safety regulations for your province or territory, if applicable).
• As always, please do not undertake any activity that you regard as unsafe, and please feel no personal pressure whatsoever to complete surveys.