Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Season Comes To An End

All - I'm sure I share your disappointment with yet another year without any loon chicks. If there is a "silver lining(s)", I offer 1) we still have a nesting pair, and 2) the odds have to be turning in our favor.

As you may have read in recent articles, there is concern about a trend that we are losing breeding pairs in New England. While some might interpret the data as alarming, I would recommend patience to see if this is possibly a cyclical occurrence.

We will be removing the looncam system, this week, if weather allows. To me, it always feels like closing up camp, and a vivid marker of time passing all too fast for this middle aged man.

Have a great fall and winter!


Monday, July 25, 2011


Good morning, all. I was on vacation the week of July 9, and scrmbling to catch up, last week, so I've had very little time to check in on the loon cam, and the status of the nest.

I am curious if folks have been witnessing the adults coming and going from the nest? If so, can you share the dates and tiomes?The best times to see this would be early morning (between 6-8 am) and evening (6-8 pm). This is the most common times when the adults will switch incubation duties.

If previous patterns hold up, the male will incubate during the day, and the female at night.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Nest!

All - given all the earlier nest visits by loons, copulation, etc., and yet still another year without a nest on the loon cam, I began to think pretty hard that we were missing something. That hunch led me to ask one of our staff members to do an on site survey, yesterday, and guess what - they found a nest.

The nest is located about 15 feet to the left of the historical nest location we have been monitoring. The nest has two eggs, and an unbanded pair are on territory.

Unfortunately, the camera can't see the nest, although we have adjusted it, so hopefully we can see activity when loons come and go. Moving the camera and the stand would risk too much nest disturbance, so we'll have to be satisfied with what we have.

One other item of interest was we observed the original banded male on the pond. It was on the other side, well away from the nest area, and it took flight, and likely flew to another water body.

We are sorry the sound isn't working, and are doing everything we know to get it fixed. We may make a site visit later this week, but if our suspicion is correct, and there is a problem with our equipment near the nest, we won't be able to do anything more.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!


Thursday, June 16, 2011


All - I've been in contact with several folks who have been studying loons for much of their lives, and there is no record of previous confirmations of the unusual mating behavior we have been seeing. As I suggested in my last email, with so little data, any conclusions would be very premature. It is extremely exciting that the looncam has provided the technology to capture this for the first time, and we are extremely grateful for the dedicated viewers that helped point it out.

I've been asked if we will try to capture these loons. Trying to capture adults that aren't rearing chicks is very difficult, so I don't anticipate we will try to do that.

In the meantime, I'm still rooting for eggs, and a successful nest. We are approaching a critical window. If they don't put down eggs in the next couple of weeks, the odds of it happening are slim.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Rooting For Eggs

Like all of you, I'm rooting for eggs, soon. When I get a rare moment to tune in to the live video, I've been lucky enough to see copulations, and I know many of our dedicated viewers have, as well.

Regarding the unusual copulation behavior seen recently, this is a first for me. This is the only cam we have on loons, and this behavior has caused quite a buzz around our offices. Good research is usually backed up by a large sample size over many years before scientists are comfortable drawing conclusions. Without that, we are often left to speculate.

I have reached out to other loon experts, and I hope to report back with further information in the next week or so.

Until then - happy viewing!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Good morning, all. I hope everyone enjoyed the summer-like temperatures and sunshine for Memorial day, yesterday.

I was excited to read blogs, this morning, beginning on 5/27, where viewers have written about seeing a pair of loons on the nest. There were reports of copulation. That's real-time video as it's unfolding. Aren't we lucky? Very exciting!

Someone asked if the loons might have abandoned this location and nested somewhere else. Not that we know of. Although, they have thrown curves at us like nesting somewhere else on this island.

Keep the blogs coming with your observations. I get VERY little time to actually watch:<( Such is the price of trying to manage a rapidly growing organization like BRI.


Monday, May 23, 2011

All Quiet

It's been a quiet week for bloggers and loons. I noticed the water has risen with all the rain, but it isn't threatening the nest at this point.

Has anyone observed the loons visiting the nest? Day/time?

One blogger asked if the lake is large enough for a second territory. Yes, it is. It's a real mystery, to me, why we keep having intrusions by rogue loons in this territory, while the other potential territory remains unoccupied. A number of years ago, we did find an abandoned nest in the other territory, and collected a stinky, old egg. Since then, we haven't found any other signs of a pair there.