The persistence of the Little Squam pair paid off and they hatched one chick! The second egg did not hatch, which I collected for possible testing. Both the Little Squam chick and the Squam Lake chicks are doing very well.
Sadly, the sick loon that was found on Little Squam died. We will be collecting his body from the wildlife rehabilitator for necropsy. The loon received excellent care in his final days, and, according to the rehabilitator, was comfortable and not showing any signs of distress. The results of the necropsy will shed much more light on what happened to this loon.
Chick tip of the week: Loons are not safe from boats simply because they can dive. This is especially true of loon chicks, which need to develop their abilities to dive deeply and stay underwater for an extended period of time. For any loon, it is very important for boaters to slow down and steer clear of areas where loons are to reduce the risk of a collision.
As part of our intensive research for the Squam Lake Loon Initiative, we captured two pairs of loons this past week for banding and health tests. Two of these birds were new captures, so we will now be able to learn about their productivity, territory fidelity, health, and contaminant burdens, as we do for all of our banded birds on Squam. This will be important information as we continue to research the causes of the declines and reproductive failures among Squam's loons. Please visit http://www.loon.org/squam-lake-study.php for the latest updates on the Squam Lake Loon Initiative.