The week on Squam brought mixed results to our nesting loons.
Fortunately, the nest on Little Squam, which is very subject to water level fluctuations, made it through the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea.
Unfortunately, one of the nests on Big Squam failed in the past week; but, on a much happier note, three other pairs went on the nest! We now have four nesting pairs on Squam Lake and the one pair on Little Squam.
Please ask your neighbors and other lake users to keep a respectful distance from loon nests so the adults can incubate their eggs. When loons are flushed from the nest, the eggs are exposed to overheating/chilling and predators; and repeated or extreme disturbances may result in the loons abandoning the nest. A loon on the nest with its head lowered is indicating stress and about to flush off the nest. If you see a loon with its head lowered, please back away.
This year, we have twelve territorial pairs on Squam Lake in addition to the pair on Little Squam. This is down one pair from last year and down two pairs from two years ago. The male from the territory that was vacated this year was found dead last summer, so it is disappointing but not surprising that the territory is now vacant. Unfortunately, the body of this loon was quite decomposed when it was discovered last summer, so a definitive cause of death could not be determined. Determining mortality causes is critical to our understanding of threats to loon populations both statewide and here on Squam. If you find a dead loon, please report it to the Loon Preservation Committee (603-476-5666), and I will come out to collect it.
The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and LPC have resumed loon cruises on Squam Lake for this season! This year, we will have them on Monday and Friday afternoons at 3:00 through the end of August. Please contact the Science Center for more information or to book your trip (603-968-7194).
Please come out to enjoy seeing and learning about the loons!
Squam Lake Project Biologist
Loon Preservation Committee