You must be in ME, less folks, more wildlife, loons.
The entertainment when you are lucky enough to visit or live full time in Vacationland is the Maine wildlife. Like Maine lake loons. Bigger than they look from across a pond or lake. Paddling closer with a kayak or canoe helps you realize how beautiful, large they really are.
There are three kinds of Maine loons.
The Common Loon that nest in Maine ponds and lake. Spend winters in open bays. They are built kind of funny. With long feet very far back to make them super swimmers, able to maneuver quickly when “fishing”. But with their long bodies, you won’t be seeing them in any land marathons. Not the greatest at walking due to their design.
The Pacific Loon hang out along the Maine coast fall and winter. Have black back, darker coloring around their eyes and a straight bill. Start their families in northwestern Alaska and Canada. Shorter necked and looking a lot like the last kind of Maine loons.
The Red-throated. You’ll see them make appearances in the fall along the rugged, rocky Maine coast line. More compact, slender than the Common Loon. The distinctive red throat patch, gray head with shorter neck round out the trio of loons you’ll enjoy in Maine.
The loons breed on Maine lakes, rivers, ponds. On Drews Lake, there are four islands that loons seem to enjoy nesting at. Plus the fishing grounds at the far western end of the lake, in the township of Oakfield Maine is a safe, less traffic boating area where they can live in peace. Friends Jimmy and Louann Ritchie are lucky to witness the actual mating, nesting of loons from their protected cove on Drews Lake.
Maine Loon And Eagle Compete For Fish Lunch Video.
Due to not being so hot, skilled at walking around on land, Maine loons like to nest at the water’s edge with steep drop offs.
So they can easily slide in to the water when it is time to go looking for a meal of fish. Or to teach their young how to swim. Floating vegetation mats and locations on the waterfront protected from strong winds or wave action are also prime neighborhoods for Maine loons.
The cleaner the Maine lake, the better the visibility for loons to fish as they peer underwater. Now you see them, now you don’t for long periods happens as the Maine loon dives for its fresh as possible lunch. The menu for Maine loons include saltwater, freshwater fishes. But also frogs, newts, snails, insects, insect larvae, crayfish, crabs, shrimp, amphipods, and even lobsters.
Wendell Harvey told me this morning that on Little Pleasant Lake in northern Maine while on a fishing trip he was entertained by “circus” loons.
Ones trained by sporting camp owner Matt Libby of Ashland Maine to do figure eights around, under the fishing boat for a snack.
Maine’s adult loon population is growing but the number of loon chicks has flat lined. And no one is really sure why. But everyone agrees the bird that shows up on every Maine conservation license plate has one unique, loud, shrill set of cries, mating calls.
There is nothing like being in bed, at night on a Maine lake or pond and hearing the ruckus of suddenly very verbal loons.
Or sitting by a camp fire with loved ones after a day out on the water and under the moonlight, a velvet night sky backdrop of stars and listening to the haunting, enchanting sounds as Maine loons offer the nightly entertainment. Whether just one solo or a bunch tuning up for the orchestra all at once, Maine loons always steal the show.
Surveys last year show Maine has more loons than any other Northeast state. Over Maine’s 5000 loons checked in compared to New Hampshire’s 650, Vermont’s 210.
Waterbodies in Maine fifty acres or bigger are the norm for loons. And anything smaller is like an airport when a jumbo jet is circling but lacking the runway length to land. As you paddle a kayak on Drews Lake, a 1000 acre Maine waterbody you quickly figure out watching loons take off that they struggle to achieve lift off, to get airborne.
How can we all help the Maine loons?
Be good stewards of the Maine waterfront. Let them have their space and stay clear in boats observing the no-wake law within 200 feet of shore. Use lead-free tackle, good alternatives are made of steel, tin and bismuth.
Dispose of fishing line so it doesn’t tangle up a loon’s feet or bill. Use phosphourus-free fertilizer, plant shrubs as a buffer along the shoreline to reduce run-off. Fish like Maine loons hate lawns, silt that choke them, hurt the visibility to see food. Or avoid being the lunch when prey approaches.
Keep your distance if you see a loon on a nest, watching with binoculars. Keep garbage out of reach of loon egg predators like skunks and raccoons. Be protective of our Maine loons.
Maine, come for the loons, lobsters, moose, blueberry pie, baked potatoes and lighthouses. And so much more.