NH boaters warned to watch out for loons
A loon in a raft nest put on Lake Winnipesaukee last year by Loon Preservation Committee volunteers and staff. (COURTESY PHOTO)
The peak of the hatching period of loon chicks usually occurs around the Fourth of July, at the same time that the lakes are busy with holiday boaters, said Harry Vogel, senior biologist and executive director of the committee.
"It's bad timing," Vogel said. "It's nesting season, and one of the biggest challenges loons face is the heavy number of lake users."
Last year, committee biologists recorded 188 pairs of nesting loons on New Hampshire lakes. They also recorded 99 "failed" nests, Vogel said. Loon nests fail because of human disturbance, predation or water-level changes.
"The first one is too many," he said.
Loon nests are generally made of matted grasses and twigs, built near the water level along shorelines. They like to nest near islands or in coves on shorelines.
• Boaters (and shore walkers) should stay back at least 150 feet from a nesting loon, further back if the loon shows any signs of distress, such as craning its neck low over a nest. Loons may even appear to be injured or dead while in this head-down position, but it is simply a response to the close approach of people, according to the committee.
Loons are a threatened species in New Hampshire and are protected by state and federal laws from hunting or harassment, including flushing loons from nests. Anyone observing harassment of loons can contact New Hampshire Fish and Game Department at 271-3361 or the Marine Patrol at 293-2037.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Author uses music to teach kids the art of storytelling - 0
- Heritage Day contest in Errol is a cut above - 0
- Cher's Manchester concert postponed for 2nd time - 0
- Make Blaze Orange Your Fall Fashion Statement - 0
- Senior News: Donation made to help Families First expand dental care for seniors - 0
- Thousands gather for Marlborough's annual town-wide celebration - 0
- Kids, seniors complete in inaugural DeMar races in Keene over weekend - 0
- Hudson girl and her family continue race against time - 0
- Free Outdoor Adventure Talk – Hunting Dominant Bucks - 0
Fall hikers throughout NH put on notice
Win tickets to see Demi Lovato
Missing moose, ancient glaciers and firewood
Win tickets to see Kip Moore
Hillary Clinton to join Shaheen fundraiser
Racism in Lincoln? Looks more like ignorance
State surplus isn't big enough
Weare police sergeant's firing rescinded