This morning I observed an adult loon near the nesting raft swimming with a single loon chick. As I observed, the chick swam behind the adult and then tucked in under a lifted wing. The adult then swam a little ahead and the chick quickly caught up again. Unless there was another chick still in the nest or perhaps under the other wing, it would appear that we have just one chick from this year’s efforts. We have kept an eye on the nesting loons several times each day and this is the first sighting of a chick. At all other times there was a loon on the nest while the other one was either down the lake or swimming nearby. The only change in behavior during the past couple days is that the loon on the nest was more often sitting upright and turning its head back and forth in a more vigilant manner (as opposed to the usual posture of hunkering down low with its head parallel to the water). Also, yesterday evening the second loon was lingering very close to the nesting raft rather than venturing off. This suggested to us that something was different.
The nesting raft worked wonderfully (even during the recent high water following the floods this past weekend) and this particular corner of the north end was well protected and easy to cordon off with the six warning buoys you gave us. I observed a variety of boats in the area but they always respected the signs. The vegetation on the raft provided good shelter and shade on hot days. Good work!
(above is a letter from a nearby resident to the scientist from Vermont Center for Ecostudies who has been so helpful)