Highland Lake Loon News

By Donna Baker Hartwell

The loon family had me fooled at 7:30 AM as I kayaked around and around the lake, I could not find them through my binoculars. After almost an hour, an adult flew overhead – announcing his/her arrival with much vocalizations. My guest is that one of the parents (turns out it was the father) was visiting another lake. He directed me to the the other adult and chick who were tucked safely in the cove by the Agoos. After a parental switch off, mother loon took time for herself while the “refreshed” father took over childcare. I could see the green band on her left foot – indicating that this is the mother –  as she swam away.

Father loon and chick spent a great deal of time fishing. Our 52 day old chick is now diving for his/her own food as well as receiving food from the parents. The chick can swim underwater for a minute or more. Enjoy the pictures!

The results of the NH Loon Census are in. “This was a better nesting year, with over 30 chicks hatched in our broader Sunapee monitoring region (Concord to WRJ to Newfound), and over 200 chicks hatched around the state. Not the best year ever, but good enough to bring the statewide breeding success close to the long-term average (statewide this year was around 0.49 chicks surviving to mid-August per territorial pair, versus 0.51 chicks surviving to mid-August per pair as the annual long term average, 1975-2017).”

The July volunteer census covered over 100 lakes, and our season-long field monitoring with the crew and volunteers surveyed over 357 lakes.