Loon warning banners available

Sheepscot Lake Association President, Gary Miller, left, and Secretary, Jean Ristaino deliver a loon caution banner to Sheepscot resident Holly Bryant for the nest in their cove. (Contributed photo)

by Carolyn Viens

Each year we celebrate the return of the loons to Sheepscot Lake.  The Sheepscot loon population has rebounded over the years and with continued protection should continue to flourish. It is important that we all be alert to our loons especially during nesting season, which is currently underway. Loons usually lay one or two eggs in late May or June, and incubation of eggs generally lasts 26-28 days. If the eggs are lost, the pair may renest, often in the same general location. Loon chicks covered in brown-black down appear on the water in late June or July.  We will be conducting the official Audubon loon count on Sheepscot Lake in late July to determine our current loon population.

As you enjoy the lake, please do not approach the nests as it will frighten the nesting parents away. Boat slowly when in the nest’s vicinity to eliminate wakes which can flood or destroy a nest and please remain quiet so as not to spook the parents and any chicks. Also, should you plan to enjoy the July 4th holiday with fireworks, please do so as far from a nest as possible. Disturbing nesting loons can cause them to abandon their nest; leaving eggs or chicks exposed to the elements and predators. These precautionary steps will help ensure our loon population continues to flourish.

Should you have a nest near you, The Sheepscot Lake Association has banners you can borrow to notify folks of a nest close by. Please contact Carolyn Viens at carolynviens@hotmail.com should you like to borrow a banner.


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