2018 Loon Count on Lake Vermilion

For the 36th consecutive year, a summer loon count was conducted by the Vermilion Lake Association. In 2018, the loons numbered 235.  Of these, 197 adults and 38 chicks were counted.  Between recent storms and rain downpours, 67 plus volunteers found Monday, July 9th to be a perfect day to spot these beautiful birds on the water.  This year’s count was up 38 compared to the 2017 count of 202, including 9 more chicks.  The east end of the lake tallied 143 birds and the west end recorded 92.

Loon counting is usually done during the 1st or 2nd week of July at which time loon chicks are still small and will stay close to the parents.  If no loon chicks are observed by the middle of July, either the nest was unsuccessful, the loons didn’t nest at all, or a predator has snatched the eggs or young.  The best way to enhance long-term health of loons is to protect natural nesting sites.

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

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