We're very excited to announce that one loon chick hatched sometime late on 7/29 or early 7/30!!!! If you are on the lake and see the mother and chick, PLEASE keep a 150’ distance away so they do not feel threatened.
The Common Loon is not very “common” at all. They are an iconic and beloved species on northern lakes, and their unique and haunting call is a symbol of the wilderness for many of us in New England. They have four main calls which they use to communicate with their families and other loons. Each call has a distinct meaning and serves a unique function. (Learn more about these calls on loon.org)
This year, Lake Spofford’s resident common loon pair has nested on Pierce Island. Lake Spofford presents as an ideal location for a pair of New Hampshire loons because of its large size and centrally located island, which allows the loons easy access to the shore for nesting while protecting the nest from mainland egg predators. Unlike other water birds such as ducks or geese, loons are virtually immobile on land, and having a low shoreline is required so the pair can easily get back and forth to the nest and the water.
Although nesting has been reported in previous years by Spofford Lake residents, this is the first year the in recent memory that this mated pair which has been present on the lake for at least the last six summer seasons, produced a chick.
Loons are very particular and take lots of time selecting just the right breeding location. Nests often fail, and due to those failures or predators like eagles, the average loon pair in NH raises just one chick to fledging age every two years. That’s one of the reasons that loons are protected.
Please share in the joy of the lake’s “very uncommon” loon residents, but watch or photograph from a safe 150-foot distance. We are very fortunate to have a loon family for all to enjoy.
To learn more about why loons are so special, including their behavior, appearance, chick development, and what their calls mean, visit the following websites.
Thanks Jeff Newcomer for the above pictures. For more of Jeff's Spofford Lake photos go to: https://www.partridgebrookreflections.com/ (My Photographs, All My Photographs, Around New England, Spofford Lake)