June 30 – July 6, 2023Vol. 25, No. 3

The First Chick and An Abandoned Egg

An “X” marks this abandoned loon egg.

by Dick Greenan

This has been a very interesting week with our loons and wildlife in general! We observed our first chick of the season in lower Long Pond but, the parents once again, abandoned the second egg! Just like last year’s pair off the same nest.

If you look closely at the egg you will notice the “X” marked on the top. When we suspect that an egg has been abandoned, we mark the egg accordingly. If it has not been turned, as is typically done a few times a day, we will collect the egg and transfer it to the biologists at Portland’s Biodiversity Institute for processing and testing.

Why loons abandon the second egg or both eggs, for that matter, is unknown. Quite often, the abandonment is due to human interference, but not always, and not in this case. This particular nest was extremely well hidden and out of the way, so this one is on the parents!

An adult Loon visits with Colby intern Brynne.

Also, this past week we were entertained by a pair in a loon territory that has not seen any nesting activity in the past several years. While we were observing the inquisitive pair, they surrounded our boat which they apparently either found interesting or more likely it was the smiles on the faces of our two Colby College Loon Project interns! For over half an hour they circled the boat within a few feet and actually came right up to Brynne who was hanging off the back of the boat with her phone to shoot some video. A once in a lifetime experience!

Although it is getting a bit late in the season to breed, that fact didn’t appear to deter this pair from a romantic interlude of cooing and hooting, both good signs of something about to happen! We’ll leave it at that!

If you have a particular questions regarding our Belgrade loon population, please email your inquiry to info@blamaine.org and we will try to answer your question, either in this column or via email. Have a great Summer enjoying the “Call of the Loon”! We are so fortunate to summer here in the Belgrades!

Lower Long Pond, 2020-banded female, preening.
A closeup of one of the visiting loons.

Dick Greenan is chairman of the Belgrade Lakes Association’s Loon Preservation Project.

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