After the storm - Photo courtesy of Don Yurewicz
Tallying the results of the annual loon count.
Protecting their chick: Photo courtesy of Don Yurewicz
Momma loon feeding baby: Photo courtesy of Tom Gross
Loons nest close to the edge of the lake at water level - wakes from boats can easily dislodge the loon and eggs causing the nest to be abandoned. When you see a caution sign designating a nesting area please reduce speed and keep a safe distance.
Please observe these caution signs - they signify loons with a chick are in the area. Please slow down and keep your distance!
Volunteers with the Conway Lake Conservation Association (CLCA) work in conjunction with the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) to protect and monitor loons on Conway Lake. When nests are threatened because of water traffic our volunteers place signs to let boaters know they should slow down and avoid creating wakes that could disturb nests at the water line. Once chicks have hatched, we place “Caution: Loon Chicks” signs in chick nursery areas. Young loon chicks can be difficult to see on the water and cannot dive as quickly or deeply to avoid being hit by a boat. Close approach by people in motorboats or canoes/kayaks can severely stress the loons, reduce the ability of loons to care for their chicks, and may result in reduced fitness and/or the death of the chick(s). Boaters should stay at least 150 feet away from loons and loon families to allow them to go about their normal behaviors to care for themselves and their chicks. In addition to signage we continue to monitor the lake for loons in distress and participate in the annual statewide loon count.
To report a loon emergency please contact Rick Blank:
603-447-8826 (home), 617-877-8062 (mobile) or Rick@rickrobin.com
There were four nesting pairs on Conway Lake in 2021 - one in South Cove, another on Gull Rock, the third on Gerson Island, and the fourth on Bug Island.
The nest in South Cove was tucked away out of sight in a new location this year. The nest produced two eggs that were later found floating in the lake. Its not sure if the wash out was a result of high water, wake board activity, or even some high winds.
The loons on Gull Rock produced two eggs - one hatched in early July and the other was abandoned on the nest. The hatched chick survived for two weeks but was lost, most likely to a predator.
The third pair of loons established a nest on the north side of ‘Bug Island’ within the Thorne Islands. Two chicks hatched in early July, but one was lost to a bald eagle that nests nearby. The second chick thrived and was spotted along the east and north shores of the lake over the course of the summer. If flew out to the ocean in the fall.
The nest on Gerson Island had two eggs, one hatched but the chick was not viable, the second egg did not hatch and was sent to the Loon Preservation Committee to examine.
The Loon Preservation holds a statewide loon count each year - this year it was held on July 17. We counted fourteen adult loons and two chicks for a total of 16 on Conway Lake. The average is about 14 ½ over the past 5 years so we had a good year. Thanks to all seven teams of observers and counters. Statewide the number of territorial loon pairs rose from 321 to 326 which was a record number.
Thanks again this year to Ace Tarberry for helping to position and retrieve the loon and chick nesting signs.