2017 Loon Count on Lake Vermilion

A beautiful day greeted 70 volunteer loon counters early on Monday, July 10, as they spread out over the 40,000 acres of Lake Vermilion searching for loons for the 35th consecutive year. The calm waters got a bit choppy later in the morning, making loons harder to see during their shorter stay on the surface.

Nevertheless, 202 loons were spotted this year compared to 262 in 2016. This included 45 pairs, 29 chicks, and 83 singles. The Tower (East) end of the lake had 133 loons while the Cook (West) end had 69.

For counting purposes, the lake is divided into 23 smaller areas where volunteers are assigned to look for loons. More information about the counting process can be found here.

The information is compiled and sent to the MN Department of Natural Resources. Now entering the state’s 38th year of monitoring loons, there is still a growing interest in protecting and watching over our state bird.

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