WHAT’S NEW ON THE FLOWAGE?

The Lake District 2021 Annual Meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 3rd, at the open pavilion at the Conover Town Park. All Riparian Owners will receive a notice of the meeting, and everyone is encouraged to attend, along with family members, to discuss the important business of our water resource. See you there!

from the Loon Watch May Newsletter:

EARLY MAY LOON FALL-OUT

Early in May, we experienced cold spring storms over the upper Midwest.  Unfortunately, this coincided with loon migration, and loons that were migrating in that storm flew through freezing conditions that likely iced their feathers and caused them to fall.  Loons are a heavy bird for their wing to weight ratio, making them excellent swimmers, but not-so-great and inefficient flyers –  200 wing beats per minute at speeds of 65 to 70 mph during migration.  They purposefully land on large bodies of water because they need at least a 1/4 mile aquatic runway to achieve flight, unless aided by a head wind.  The icing event within this storm caused some of them to fall on land or small ponds.  Loons are unable to walk because of the placement of their hind limbs, and unable to leave small ponds because there is not a large enough area for them to achieve flight.

Volunteer Loon Rangers helped rescue a loon from a pond

Loons In May

After about one month of replenishing their energy reserves, loon pairs are ready to start nesting in mid-May.  Chicks begin hatching one month later in mid to late June.  This year, because of the early ice-out, we may see some early nesting.  Start looking now.  Loons  lay one to two eggs, but on extremely rare occasions three eggs have been documented.  Loons raise one to two chicks per year

Loon Observation Tips

The territorial pair seems to have split up.  What happened? It is likely that one loon is on the nest while the other is on the lake fishing, preening and looking out for intruders.

Where are they nesting? If you cannot find the nest, watch the loon in its territory.  The loon pair will switch “duties”, and the loon on the lake will swim toward shore, toward the nest.  This may take several hours, so have patience. Remember to use binoculars to observe loons, and employ the 200 ft. rule.

Why are they chasing each other? The resident loon and an intruder (of the same sex) are in a territorial dispute.  They are trying to wear each other out.  These battles can become quite physical, sometimes ending in death.  If the intruder wins, they will take over the territory with the other resident loon (opposite sex).

The loons in this photo are in a territorial dispute. The resident loon of the opposite sex is watching the resident loon and intruder loon (of the same sex) fight each other. The observing resident loon will nest with whichever loon wins the dispute. Sometimes disputes can last for weeks, with the intruder(s) returning for more disputes. Or the new resident loon defending against new intruders, or even the old resident.