The Common Loon is indeed common on Jenness Pond. There is usually at least one pair of adults plus their kids; and once 12 loons were seen swimming past our beech. They are a tribute to the clean water of Jenness Pond and to the plentiful fish. They arrive early in May, produce eggs near the end of May, and the chicks hatch mid to late June. The adult loons head south usually by mid September, but the juveniles may hang around a couple of weeks extra to increase their endurance.
Loons are most famous for their unique call. If you have been fortunate to hear a loon, you realize that it cannot really be described. If you haven't yet heard a loon, come stay with us! The best way to spot a loon a Jenness Pond is to borrow one of our kayaks and paddle around the pond. Odds are that you will see at least one. Please respect the birds and try not to get any closer than 50 feet. But if you are lucky, they may even surface closer to you.
Loons spend so much time under the water they have evolved to have denser bones than most other birds. Also, their legs are located further aft than usual. Loons are thus at home under water and are great at catching fish. But they pay a price for their aquatic design - they can just barely walk on land! Thus their nests are usually located withing a few feet of water's edge. This usually works just fine for them, but if heavy rains cause the water level to rise it can be fatal for the chicks.
Because loons have dense bones they require considerable effort to take off. They strenuosly beat their wings and run along the water to achieve lift off. As is true for many birds, loons take off into the wind to help conserve energy. In fact, loons cannot establish flight on land unless there is a stiff breeze. Loons have been known to find a lake unexpectly frozen in the morning and not be able to fly south. This can be a bad mistake.
The following pictures were taken by Dick and Sandy. Most were in New Hampshire, but some in North Carolina and New York. The first loon is in winter plumage, the others are in spring / summer plumage. I hope you get a chance to see some of "our" loons in person and perhaps even get a photo too.