The Vermont Center for Ecostudies, in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, leads the Loon Watch Conservation Project.  Every year volunteers help monitor loon nesting sites across the state.  The biggest threat to loons, which were fortunately removed from the endangered species list in 2005, is human disturbance. You can read more about the VCE Loon Watch Project here.

Here on Woodward Reservoir Dorina and Robert Link volunteer every year to put signs out to warn boaters and swimmers to stay away from the nest site.  Farm & Wilderness staff, although not official volunteers, try to do our part as well.

I was in my office on Wednesday afternoon and heard a shriek from the loons who were nesting not far away.   They are typically quiet when nesting unless disturbed.  I thought I might have to go warn someone to stay away but I happened to grab the camera with the telephoto lens, just in case.  When I arrived at the site I saw the pair with the chick resting on its mother’s back!  I was able to get a couple of photos and notified Dorina and Kelly, our Conservation Director, straight away.

I also took note that the loons had not left the bay where they nest and head for open water, as it is somewhat customary.  I later heard from Dorina that she observed a second chick when the loons passed by her house, explaining the delay, they were waiting for the second to hatch!  They’ll have some great news to share with Eric Hansen, the VCE project biologist, monitoring the program.

– Jay Kullman

 

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