Even though I’ve been surveying lakes for loons for a long time (I won’t say how long), it’s always a thrill to find a loon sitting on shore at the start of the month long incubation period. Today, I visited 9 territories and found 5 active nests. Two birds were busy throwing whatever he or she could reach onto the nest to form the bowl. The pair on Zack Woods Pond was courting near the island nest site, with one bird cooing softly as it drifted near the shoreline. Once I showed up to place some of the new nest warning signs, they became more curious in me. I was able to take several photos of them posing near the signs. They obviously like the new easier to read text.
Yay!!!! Buzz me up when you need a hand! ♡
Lake Derby loons are indecisive about where to build their nest. They have been looking and tossing stuff in two separate spots, both past nest sites.
It’s not unusual for a loon pair to build multiple nests before choosing one. It could be that water levels have changed in recent weeks. Both sites have been used in the past, thus the pair is likely familiar with both. The pair did not nest last year, thus there is a chance there was a change in one of the mates. This can lead to the pair choosing a different site if there was a change in the male; males tend to chose the nest site based on recent research in Wisconsin. However, if potential nest sites are limited, even with a change in the male, pairs might keep using traditional sites. It’s probably a good thing the pair has waited to nest as northern Vermont has received 2-4+ inches of rain since Saturday night. We’ve confirmed at least one flooded nest but there likely have been a few more. Eric Hanson, VLCP Coordinator
Are you aware of any nest flooding at Maidstone?
We have only confirmed one nest so far on Maidstone by the SE pair. The two other pairs on the lake have done some nest building. Because my surveys are often 2 weeks apart, there is a chance that a pair nested and then the nest flooded between visits. However, based on my observations last week, the nests were fairly high out of the water, so unless the water came up 6-8 inches, it’s more likely they just have not started yet. It’s getting late, so we’ll see if they nest at all during our next round of surveys. eric hanson Eric Hanson
Vermont Loon Conservation Project (VLCP) Coordinator
Vermont Center for Ecostudies Conservation Biologist
PO Box 22, Craftsbury, VT 05826
ehanson@vt ecostudies.org(802) 586-8064
The VLCP is a program of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) and the
One pair of loons spotted at Glen Lake in Fair haven on May 30.
Thank you so much for the report. If you didn’t already, we’d love to have this report, and all of the loon reports, in Vermont eBird.