New Hampshire Loon Census Results

Number of nesting pairs and chicks hatched is down

By Susie Burbidge, Loon Preservation Committee

This year, 485 observers covered 118 of New Hampshire’s lakes during the annual count on July 15, about one third of the lakes that the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) surveys and monitors annually. A few census participants were probably surprised to see some loons still on the nest in the middle of July, a result of high water levels early in the season and a slight delay in nesting.

The Enfield Reservoir in Enfield and Little Island Pond in Pelham were added to our list of census lakes this year. A total of 423 adult loons were tallied, 7 immature loons, and 47 loon chicks. The 8-9 o’clock hour saw a slight drizzle in some parts of the state and dense fog in others, but that did not keep too many of our volunteers from venturing out on their lakes. The youngest census participant was 3-year old Addison on Ossipee Lake. We can’t think of a better way to foster a love for loons to the next generation of loon watchers!

Preliminary numbers from our season long monitoring saw a decrease in the number of nesting pairs and chicks hatched in 2017. See the upcoming LPC Fall Newsletter, due out in November, for a detailed recap of the breeding season. We are always happy to hear about other loon activity throughout the summer and fall. Please feel free to contact us anytime to let us know what you are seeing on your lake.

On behalf of everyone at LPC, thank you again for participating in the 2017 loon count! Save the date for the 2018 loon census on Saturday, July 21.