Loons, Eagles and Waterfowl
Lake Metonga is home to a wide variety of waterfowl and bird species including bald eagles, mallard, bufflehead and wood ducks, blue herons, terns and seagulls, among others.
Numerous eagle nests are located around the lake, including the nest just south of Peterson Bay which is equipped with the Lake Association’s Eagle Cam live video feed accessed on our website home page.
The lake is also usually home to one or two growing families of loons, as well as many transient loons that come and go during the seasons. The loons arrive as soon as the ice is out of the lake and stay into fall when most docks and boats have been pulled from the lake. The families that reside for the entire season need your help to protect their infant offspring as they grow. Loon territories to be most cautious include Farmers Bay to South Beach on the south end of the lake, and the Peterson Bay area on the east.
When boating, skiing and jet skiing, please take extra precaution in the areas where loons are taking care of their offspring in the late spring-early summer period. While adult loons all around the lake can easily keep a safe distance from speeding boats, baby and infant loons and their protective parents cannot. Until they are ready to swim on their own, infants ride on the adult loon’s back making it impossible for the parent to dive out of the way to avoid boaters. And even after they can swim on their own, the young loons are often not prepared to avoid high speed boating activity.
PLEASE NOTE: Harassment of loons is a federal offense under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which protects over 1000 species of birds throughout the US and Canada. The statute makes it unlawful, without a waiver, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell any birds listed. The statute does not discriminate between live or dead birds, and also grants full protection to any bird parts including feathers, eggs, and nests. Offenders can be fined up to $5,000 and up to 6 months incarceration, plus state fines and penalties.
Setting a Loon nesting platform in early spring
New loon family in Peterson Bay,
Water and Fireworks Don’t Mix
Please be careful and considerate!
During the 4th of July, 2020, a bald eagle had much of its beak blown off by fireworks over the lake. By the fall, it had almost perished from starvation when it was saved by lake residence and nutured by REGI (Raptor Education Group, Inc.) in Antigo. They cared for the eagle until it finally succumbed to its dehabilitated state a year later.