Loon Initiatives 2017


June 27, 2017

Subject: Loon Update

We have managed to get in 3 counts in June - a record, I think.  The loons were off to a very early start this year.  Five chicks were spotted on 20 June, so they likely hatched around the middle of June, which again is early.  We have also found 4 nests, all of which are still occupied as of the 26th of June, so we are very hopeful that more chicks will be found.  We know there are more nests out there, but spotting them remains very difficult. As of the 26th, we have spotted about 45 adults, however, some of those were singles in established territories, so the count will undoubtedly be higher as we go along.  We emplaced three sets of Loon Nesting Buoys, in the same spots as last year.   The loons in those areas have been using the buoys to good effect.

If you spot a loon close to shore or a loon with chicks, please stay well away, as they get very nervous, and the chicks will dive to get away.  This can result in the adults and chicks becoming separated, leaving the chicks very vulnerable to predation or drowning.  Adults that donít want you around will try to swim away, and will hoot at you (single note) if you start to get too close.  If you continue to approach, they will make Tremolo calls (high pitched staccato laughing-like call).  If you hear that, please leave that area.   Also, if you are boating at high speed, please donít come any closer than 100-200 yards to a loon, especially one with chicks or one close to shore.  Your boat wake can easily drown young chicks or eggs on nests.  Please pass this info on to friends and family so that we can continue to keep Madge a loon-friendly lake. 

I am looking for people with boats who are willing to do occasional counts on either the whole lake or a part of it.  Contact me if you are interested, either by email or via my cell at 306-590-8301.

Doug Welykholowa <dougwelyk@gmail.com>

Adult on nest (June 6) Adult with two chicks (June 26) Adult preening (June 6) Group of three young unpaired adults
3-5 years of age (June 26) 
Pair of Loons (June 6) Two Adults (June 26) Osprey bathing at old Ranger Bay
boat launch site (June 20)
Adult - Ranger Bay (June 26)