August 20 – 31, 2021Vol. 23, No. 11

Bobber or Band?

by Dick Greenan

Our healthy adult loon with her banded right leg resting up on her back. You can see how this loon could have been mistaken for a loon in distress.

An adult loon entrapped with discarded fishing line. (Internet file photo.)

Our chick imitates its mother with its leg up as well.

Q: There is a loon and a chick in Lynch Cove [on Long Pond]. The mother appears to be entangled in some fishing line and a bobber. The observation was made by friends who stayed at our camp last weekend.

A: Thanks for the observation! I'll head down there within the hour and check it out. Hopefully there's no fishing line and what looks like a bobber were the bands from the banding that we just did a couple of weeks ago, which can look like a bobber. I'll go down and check and let you know. Thanks again.

Our observations and photographs confirm that what their friends thought was an adult loon wrapped in fishing line and a bobber was actually a recently banded female adult with four new brightly colored leg bands.

We had a similar report last summer from a boat of fisherman in Long Pond's Ingham Pond. Observations such as this are fairly common and our braincase easily makes the connection that if it looks like a bobber attached to the loon, then there must be fishing line! We encourage all calls regarding loons in distress as we would rather be safe than sorry. And the outcome in this case was excellent with what appeared to be a healthy female adult with her four week old chick.

As this is our final Call of the Loon column for this season, I want to thank Esther, Michael, and Gregor, and the rest of the Summertime in the Belgrades staff for their support this past summer. I also want to Thank all of you for your care and support of our cherished loon population. It has been my sincere pleasure to be just a part of this project.

Dick Greenan is chairman of the Belgrade Lakes Association's Loon Preservation Project. You can reach him at

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