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A social gathering of loons on Conway Lake - Photo courtesy of Don Yurewicz

Loon Conservation

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Please observe these caution signs - they signify loons with a chick are in the area.  Please slow down and keep your distance!  Similar signs are put out for nesting loons.
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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.  This nest in South Cove was abandoned after a boat wake washed the eggs off the nest.
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Loon nest on Conway Lake with abandoned egg.  Please  do not disturb nesting loons - keep a safe distance and avoid making a wake.
Tallying the results of the annual loon count.  
Rick and Brian - photo by Bobbi Jarvis_e
Brian Jarvis and Rick Blank with an artificial floating nesting platform in South Cove. Nest platforms have been shown to increase the nesting success of loon pairs that have repeatedly lost nests because of changing water levels or human disturbance.
Photo courtesy of Bobbi Jarvis

Common Loons are a threatened species in New Hampshire and are protected under state laws and the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  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

Save a Loon

Turn in Your Lead Fishing Tackle!

Lead poisoning resulting from the ingestion of lead fishing tackle is by far the largest known killer of adult loons in New Hampshire and has been responsible for 39% of documented adult loon mortalities  since 1989. Lead sinkers and lead-headed jigs weighing one ounce or less (the sizes most often ingested by loons) have been illegal for sale and freshwater use in New Hampshire since 2016. Help us protect our loons by cleaning out your tackle box.  You can participate in the Loon Preservation Committee’s Lead Tackle Buyback program. As part of this program, you can turn in lead tackle at participating retail locations, where you will receive a $10 merchandise voucher to that location.  Visit for program details.

2023 Update

By Rick Blank

The loons returned to the lake the day after Ice Out was declared. It was a tough season for nesting loons. Nests were established on Gerson Island, Bug Island, Marble Island, and Boynton Island but the nests on Boynton Island and Gerson Island were abandoned several days after the loons were on.  Two eggs were produced on the Marble Island nest but they did not hatch and the nest was abandoned.  The Thorne Island nest also failed. It is not clear if the high-water levels and heavy rains this season contributed to the egg and nest failures.


The annual loon count was conducted on July 15th.  In all fourteen loons were counted. For comparison, our 10-year average is about 10 loons counted, and last year we had 17 loons.  Thank you to our observers Brian & Bobbi Jarvis, Craig Fillmann, Mark Guerringue, Don Yurewicz and Theresa Einhorn, Rose Hache & Dean Malouta, and Tom & Maria Gross for their help with the count.

Finally, the loons have been active and vocal all season. While we are disappointed no chicks were produced, having 14 active loons is a good sign for next year and years to come.       

To learn more about loons in New Hampshire please visit the Loon Preservation Committee at

Interpreting Loon Behavior
(courtesy the Loon Preservation Committee)
Click the image for full size image.
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