An Innovative Home for Loons

loon on minnesota island

 Creating a wetland habitat for loons in Minnesota

loon on minnesota island

Loon on her BioHaven Floating Island Nest

Phyllis Sherman reports that her two BioHaven home for loons in Northern Minnesota are “a great success!”

A Star Tribune article recently announced that the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources might receive $39 million over a 15-year period that may help the Minnesota state bird-the loon. This money would help lessen the effects of the petroleum contamination on the loon population from the serious BP oil spill five years ago.  This petroleum has negatively affected our Midwest loons because they migrate to the Gulf of Mexico during the winter months.

Many of the loon conservation efforts being proposed by the DNR are a good application of the BioHaven® Floating Islands made in Saint Paul by Midwest Floating Island. In general, these floating wetlands function as prime real-estate for nesting birds because they automatically adjust to changing water levels and are anchored to avoid shoreline predators. They can also be tailored to be perfect nesting habitats for specific wetland bird species, including the loon.

Customizable Artificial Nesting Platforms

These special Loon Nesting Islands can be customized with small ramps for easy access by chicks and short plants to provide good sightlines for nest-tending parents. There are holes to insert thin, overhanging branches to maintain overhead protection from predatory birds. These islands have already been used for nesting loons in Minnesota, Lake Michigan, and British Colombia and have even been used by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Service and the Minnesota Loon Society.

The man-made loon habitat does not need to removed in the winter. These BioHaven loon nesting habitats have been successfully used for loons to return year after year to raise chicks on their own undisturbed island.

Benefits of Floating Wetlands for Habitat

2011 Loon climbing on nesting platformThe benefits that Midwest wildlife would see from increased use of these islands is not limited to this one species; BioHaven® Floating Islands can be designed to suit the nesting, feeding and protection needs of an enormous variety of animals. Notable successes include using floating islands for turtles, terns, and trumpeter swans.

Loon conservation is just one of many potential benefits that can be realized through the use of floating islands.


For more information, contact
Midwest Floating Island| |651-379-2480

3 Comments on “An Innovative Home for Loons”

  1. Bill S.

    You mention that these floating islands can be left on the water all year, in Minnesota. My question is in regards to degradation due to ice formation and movement as well as water level changes. Our town is looking to establish nest sites on our lake and feel that they need to remove them in the winter.

    1. midwes28

      We recommend towing the islands to a protected bay over the winter if you are concerned about aggressive ice sheets.

  2. David Klopp

    My name is David and I am with a citizens group,Cedar Lake Park Association, interested in a loon platform for Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. Our group knows of a couple of your products close to us on Spring Lake in Minneapolis. We are considering different types of nesting styles for the loon. I know it might be a long shot to get a loon in an urban area on the southern edge of its range. Our group was formed in 1989 and we transformed an old railroad switching yard into an urban park and bicycle trail. We are all volunteers. Looking for info to get back to our group. Thank you

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