Vermont Loon Update plus

Hi all, Our loons on Goshen Dam are reportedly fine but I haven’t heard anything from Silver Lake recently. Here on Dunmore, we seem to have at least 4 loons at the moment with some squabbling, especially during the night. With no chick to protect, any conflict is likely due to loons trying to put themselves in position to dominate the lake next year.
We have numerous reports of eagles above Dunmore, at least one adult and two sub-adults as of late, plus one around Goshen Dam. Makes me wonder if we have a nest in the area.
Below is the State loon update from Eric. Then go way to the bottom for a couple great pictures from Sue W. The first is the underside, then the topside of a great swallowtail. Just beautiful, thanks Sue. Mike

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Hi everyone,

It’s been another tremendous year loon-wise.

Seven new pairs attempted nesting with five producing chicks:

  • Caspian Lake
  • Lake Raponda – far southern VT near Wilmington
  • Chittenden – 2nd pair
  • Goshen Dam (Sugar Hill Reservoir) in Ripton
  • Lake Fairlee – chicks hatched in early August

Two pairs experienced failed nests:

  • Curtis Pond
  • Lake Iroquois

Two new territories were established and nests were built, but we’re not sure if eggs were ever laid:

  • Great Hosmer Pond -north
  • Lake Parker

We also had a report of another loon nest on Knapp Brook Pond that we’ll watch very closely in 2017. Unbelievably, we’re at 91 confirmed nests so far, but still waiting on some Loonwatch surveys to learn about possible nests on several remote lakes. Chick numbers are pretty similar to last year’s even with the bump up from 2016’s total of 87 nests.

Here are some notices and other information for you.

Nest warning sign volunteers: Please make sure your signs are off the water by now. If you need help, please contact me. Store signs in such a way that wood bases are mostly off the ground tilted on cement blocks, etc.

Final chick survival surveys: Please check on your chicks during the last 2 weeks of August and let me know what you find. Chicks sometimes become much more independent and harder to locate in September.

Volunteer hours form: If you had several hours of volunteering or more, please take a few minutes to fill out the volunteer form and mail to me, PO Box 22, Craftsbury, VT 05826. The address on the original form I sent out did not have my PO Box #, so please take note. Thanks.

VCE enews: Watch eNews for a fascinating look at the Lake Fairlee nest through a remote camera that takes a photo every 10 seconds, including a moonlit shot of a Great Blue Heron keeping the nesting loon company for the night. We also share some insights on how hyrdro-electric companies and other groups that maintain dams have helped nesting loons.

VCE intern, Amber Wolf ,and seasonal biologist, Grace Mitchum, helped build and swap out dozens of loon nest warning signs along with moving a raft to a new location on Chittenden Reservoir in hopes of helping the new pair avoid being flooded out in future years. That pair was lucky this year to have a natural nest succeed.

Thanks to all the Loonwatch volunteers who headed out on July 16. We’ll be assembling those results over the next several weeks and will share them with you in the next VLCP update.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. f2f9662c-9a7d-4ff1-82cd-e9be201a6675.jpg

All the best,

Eric Hanson Loon Biologist
Vermont Loon Conservation Project
Vermont Center for Ecostudies

Donate Now

Vermont Center for Ecostudies, PO Box 420, Norwich, VT 05055

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One Response to Vermont Loon Update plus

  1. ktbeck2009 says:

    I have seen the loon chicks on several occasions in North Cove within the last few days. I counted 5 chicks! I also saw them in the south part of the lake on a dock.

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