Here are some fun facts about our beloved Loons that grace Squam Lake in New Hampshire during the summer months and allow us into their world for a short time.
- Loons were thought to mate for life. However, banding loons to allow the identification of individuals has shown that loons will sometimes switch mates after a failed nesting attempt, sometimes even in the same breeding season. Courtship and mating are a quiet time, with the pair swimming and making short dives together. Eventually, the male leads the female to a suitable spot on land to mate. Nest building then begins on Squam Lake in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire
- Loons have busy lives. They spend a good portion of their day preening to keep their feathers looking good. They squeeze oil from a gland at the base of their tail onto their bill and draw their feathers through their bill. The oiled feathers provide a degree of waterproofing and ensure a loon’s buoyancy. The remainder of their day is spent caring for their young, resting and hunting/eating
- Loons are generally solitary birds. However, they will sometimes gather for short periods in small groups of up to 20 birds in late summer and fall.
- Loons can live for 30 years or more
- Because their bodies are heavy relative to their wing size, loons need a 100- to 600-foot “runway” in order to take off from a lake
- The common loon has four calls. The tremolo, which sounds a bit like maniacal laughter, is an aggressive call. The wail is a long, drawn-out sound. The hoot, a shorter call, is used to communicate among parents and young. The yodel is sounded by male loons guarding their territory.
- Unlike most birds, the loon has solid bones which give it more weight and reduce its buoyancy, making it easier to dive under the water.
- Named for their clumsy, awkward appearance when walking on land
Come and enjoy a tour of Squam lake in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and experience the Loons world. The Manor On Golden Pond can make those reservations for you to take a step back in time to a more peaceful setting.