Biodiversity Institute from Maine was asked by the DCR to research loons at Quabbin. As I had been involved since the 80's with loons I was asked to work with them. These photos are from that and hours of just watching loons..
You can see in this photo the colored leg bands on the loon that we used to identify the loons each year on their territories.
This loon we call "Whitey" because of the white patch of feathers on his head. He has been at Quabbin at least the last two years and switched mates and territories. I saw him on April 28th of 2015 back already for a third year.
Moms breakfast ! A common loons chick thats about 4 weeks old get fish for breakfast at the Quabbin Reservoir. 7/10/16
The chicks are in the water within 4 to 5 hours of hatching and never return to the nest. Loons spend most of their life in the water. Exiting only to nest and fly.
Loons feed on fish, insects, insect larvae and small crustaceans. Here is a young loon with a prize crayfish. I watched him shake and smack it on the water until it broke into pieces.
Today we started the weekly common loon surveys by boat on the Quabbin Reservoir conducted by the Biodiversity Research Institute and the DCR. I was asked to help out each year as I have been doing this starting in 1985.... I was glad to help out....5/19/15
A Quabbin loon shaking off after a dive..... 5/19/15
Here is a loon in the process of taking off.
I happen to be in a boat doing the weekly common loon survey on The Quabbin Reservoir when one popped up right beside us as we were sitting still with the motor off in the research boat. I love these birds ! 6/30/16
We found a red-throated loon on the Quabbin this morning during the weekly loon survey. They are rare summer visitors at Quabbin and smaller than the common loons we have nesting here. 6/30/16
At the end of the year the adult loons head for the coast to spend the winter. The chicks go for 2 years and then come back to the same area they were raised in but some come back after a year. Loons can live in salt and fresh water.
An adult loon with the light gree leg band used to identify the individual loons on the Quabbin Reservoir.
Here are a couple of loons that haven't left for the ocean yet. Loons have the ability to live on both fresh and salt waters. Usually the adults leave in early December for the coast and the 6 month old chicks leave soon after. These 2 evidently did get the memo! 1/15/16
I personally make sure every loon raft is comfortable for our nesting loons the coming summer. Its a tough job and takes a tough man to complete the checklist of demands the loons require for a full nesting season. We launch about 8 rafts at Quabbin each year. Here I am in action in my breeding plumage testing one of the loon rafts last Friday. :)
The common loons are getting settled in to their territories and flying about. Here is a banded pair of loons. You can see the research bands on each loon on their 2 legs. From thse bands we gain lots of knowledge about their past including where they nest at Quabbin. 4/20/16
The Quabbin loon population is coming back to their territories and will be mating in early May. Last year was a record year with 16 loon chicks successfully fledging and making it until September 1st. This was taken this morning on April 19th, 2016.
Today I found both of the Prescott Brook loons on their territory at the Quabbin Reservoir ready for the summer chick rearing season. Very seldom does this pair of loons successfully raise any chicks. 4/28/16
Here is a sight that you wont see very often. Loons out of water! Loons spend 99% of their life in water. Today I saw this pair of loons mating on this small island. The other time on land is setting on the nest. Note the research bands on the leg of the loon on the left. 5/5/16