Continuing to make history, the Crooked Lake loons hatched two chicks around the 11th of July, making these the first to be seen there in anyone’s memory, certainly in decades. Our hopes for success for Crooked Lake began a couple years ago when Brad Hersey (pictured here) got responses back from a male loon to his yodel calls (calls which only male loons utter, and only when they’re in territorial mode), meaning loons were expressing interest in making this cove a nesting ground, claiming it as their territory.
Beth Stewart (also pictured) installed both rafts in spring of this year, all four buoys, and has done a magnificent job protecting this loon family from curious boaters (some knowingly violating the buoy cordon), and conveying in no uncertain terms that this loon family is to remain undisturbed. Beth lives adjacent to the raft site, and, with her family’s help, has maintained a vigil throughout the breeding and nesting season. She’ll also monitor the loons as they grow through the season.
I would be severely remiss if I didn’t also thank Ron & Lori Pool for constructing one of the rafts; Susan Lange for helping install the initial raft in this cove; the Little Traverse Conservancy for preserving the shoreline adjacent to the nest site; members of the Pickerel Crooked Lake Association for getting word out to lake users to be aware of the loons’ presence; and all who have donated materials, funding, and raised money through buoy donation canisters. Restoring lost loon territories is exactly what we aimed to do when founding the LoonCorps project a few years ago. With nearly a week behind them, the loon chicks are doing well, and staying well within the safety of their protected cove.