News Briefs, State News

Nesting loons have a record year

Vermont’s loons are thriving with a record 109 nesting pairs recorded in 2021, the highest since loon monitoring began in 1978, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept. and Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE).

By Tom Rogers, VF&W
A record 109 pairs of loons nested in Vermont in 2021 with 125 chicks hatched and 84 surviving through August.

“Across Vermont, 77 loon nests produced 125 chicks this year, and 84 of those chicks survived through August,” said VCE wildlife biologist Eric Hanson.

VCE leads the Vermont Loon Conservation Project in partnership with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept.

“Vermont’s loon project is a tremendous success story,” said Fish & Wildlife’s bird biologist Doug Morin. “It’s hard to believe that in 1983 there were only seven nesting pairs.”

Loons were removed from Vermont’s endangered species list in 2005 following decades of recovery efforts. One of the main threats still facing loons as they continue to recover is human disturbance during the breeding season.

“Many areas where loons are nesting on Vermont’s lakes are surrounded by signs reminding people to give loons the space they need, but not all nesting areas are marked,” said Morin.

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