As many of you know, Greensboro welcomed new residents to the community this summer. For the first time since 1982, a pair of loons successfully hatched two chicks on Caspian Lake. According to reports, the babies are thriving. A first nest attempt failed, and the second attempt was quickly getting swamped by motorboat wake. Volunteers modified the nest with sideboards and foam, and the pair of loons began incubating their eggs. The hard work of conservation paid off in late July when the chicks hatched.
Eric Hanson, Vermont’s State Loon Biologist, continues to encourage both motorized and non-motorized boaters, as well as swimmers, to not pursue the chicks in open water, as it could be considered a threat by the parents. There have been many beautiful photos of the loons and their babies circulating on Facebook. Please remember that many of these photos were taken by professional photographers with special lenses from a distance. It is not recommended to approach the babies or parents to take photos with phones or other devices.
Preservation of loon habitat is something in which we can all participate, not only by keeping our distance from the loons themselves. Limiting motorboat speed and wake near shorelines and possible nesting areas is critical. Indirect threats to loon habitat include storm-water runoff, which can kill the species that serve as their food supply. Working to mitigate that impact by preserving our shorelines, properly using waste management systems, and limiting the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals around the lake can make a difference.