On Saturday, George Cripps of Pickerel Lake and I installed two loon nesting rafts. One replaced the old design located near Mud Creek on the lake’s west side, and the other went to a new site inside a tiny cove near Felter Lane. Loons are often sighted on Pickerel, but it isn’t confirmed whether a territorial pair resides there. Nesting certainly occurred in the past, but no one present remembers seeing chicks or a loon couple.
Of course, nearby Round Lake produces new chicks nearly each year, and those chicks are predisposed to claim a territory either on or near their natal lake, so it’s a reasonable bet that chicks hatched from Round and returning to the area following their maturing phase down south, would be seeking a mate and a territory of their own on any of the Round/Crooked/Pickerel group of lakes. Having no natural islands, the next best thing for Pickerel, as with the other two lakes, is a floating nesting raft. George personally paid for and donated these two deluxe nesting rafts in 2015. Nearby residents Bill Day, Hal Willens, and Ron Lawrason also help maintain the raft and conduct yodel recordings to monitor any prospective male loons.