Monday, June 07, 2010
Earliest hatch date for loons?
Possible record early hatch date for loons in Vermont
On Thursday, 3 June, I received word from VLRP volunteers, Evelyn and Ray Richer, that their pair had a chick. This is the earliest hatch date I have recorded during my 13 tenure as VLRP coordinator. They live next to the nesting raft location and have a blind allowing them to watch their pair closely. I’ll share Evelyn’s email below:
As of 3:30 this afternoon, we were able to confirm 'at least' one loon
The adult is staying with the chick under the wing on the nest... I took
the video camera down to the blind and shot some footage... but it wasn't
until tonight when we played the video back on our TV that we saw the
motion of the chick... no doubt about it, but I couldn't see it on my
tiny monitor on the camera nor with my bare eyes from the blind... I just
knew the chick was under the wing by the behavior, but it didn't pop its
head out for the longest time... but at 3:30 this afternoon there was no
doubt... now we will see about that second egg... hopefully
Oh, I witnessed some different behavior of the 'waiting' adult in the
water... the loon would pull lilies up out of the water and 'throw' them
over its shoulder... in a nest building type of motion... but in the
water... I chalked it up to being nervous... it seemed to want to have
the chick in the water for feeding but the other loon was ignoring him...
Ray said he wondered if he was 'gardening'; clearing away some of the
lilies so the food below could be seen better when the chick is finally
Are there any other chicks out there???
All the best, Evelyn
In other loon news, we have documented 43 confirmed nest attempts with many lakes having yet to be surveyed or volunteers to check in. Volunteers should check their nest sites after the weekend heavy rains for possible flooding of nests. At least one of the Green River Res. nests flooded out. If the eggs are underwater, we will collect them for opportunistic mercury sampling. Hopefully the ground was still dry enough to soak up the inch plus rains we received. Our gardens needed it.