This Year's Loon Story!

Hi everyone:
A year ago,  on June 28, we had a newly hatched loon chick on the lake. This year is very different. After building and abandoning two nests in the Channel this Spring, the Harvey’s Lake breeding loon pair are no longer nesting, and seem to have decided against renesting again. The first nest, occupied on May 23, was abandoned about May 26 after very active harassment by an intruder loon. The loons built another nest and were seen occupying it on June 10 and 11 but abandoned that nest a few days later. I saw the intruder loon came into the channel and engage in confrontation with one of the loons during that time. There were no eggs observed in either nest. We watched another week after the second abandonment but the loons have not returned to the Channel.
Bonnie Easter has removed the Loon Nesting sign at the entrance to the Channel. Selectman Dylan Ford has been notified that there is a large beaver dam across the Channel about half way to the junction with the South Peacham Dam. The water level below the beaver dam is at least one foot lower than the lake level. Someone from the town should be dealing with the beaver dam shortly.
There is at least one intruder loon on the lake strong and persistent enough to keep the breeding loons from nesting this year. We’ll see what happens during the rest of the summer. Don Easter has observed the intruder loon from the boat access area and reports that it is a very large and aggressive loon.
For folks going through loon chick withdrawal, there is a loon cam on a lake in New Hampshire following a pair of loons nesting on a raft. You can check it out at the web site.
We can hope that next summer our loon pair are able to nest again or perhaps there will be a new dominant male loon on the lake. The intruder loon may well be a chick that hatched here a few years ago who thinks it is his turn to raise chicks on Harvey’s Lake. Males like to return to their natal lakes.
Thanks to everyone who lets us know any unusual loon behavior and what they see and hear on the lake. Very special thanks to Bonnie and Don Easter: Bonnie braves icy cold water to install the Loon Nesting sign in May. Don is ever vigilant watching the loons from the boat access area as a Greeter.
We will be doing a loon census here on July 21, part of a state wide census of loons taken across the state.
Enjoy the summer and please let me know if you see a loon in trouble. There may be some territorial battles during the summer, even without a chick present.

Jan Parsons

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