BABY LOON CARE

Cherie Hogan wrote:
By the fourth of July holiday the loon babies will be two weeks old. There will
be more boat traffic on the lake that week-end than any other and from the
holiday until Labor Day Weekend the loon babies will face a critical time in
their lives. They will be increasingly on their own. Their parents will wean
them and they will be quite small when they are left with only occasional
parental visits. We will need volunteers to watch the loons from now until the
boat traffic dies down after Labor Day or they may not survive the summer. On
Intermediate Lake they have a volunteer program where the loon observers and
other concerned people continually stay within distance of the loons. In this
way it makes it harder for boats to run over the youngsters who can’t fly or
dive as deep as their parents do. Six Mile Lake is fortunate that we do not have
the boat traffic other lakes do, however, accidents do happen. Please do not
tear along at night in your boats as the loon babies sleep on the water and
could easily be run down. Please alert your neighbors that there are loon babies
on Six Mile Lake for the first time ever. Wilson Lake had nesting loons last
year and the neighbors put up a ski course in front of the platform. The loons
left and did not return to Wilson Lake this year. We were fortunate to be able
to borrow the buoys marking our platform from Jim Barber but unfortunately,
because of the ignorance of the skiers, Wilson Lake lost their opportunity to
have loon babies this year. We don’t want that to happen to us. The loons here
have been a source of joy for everyone but we don’t want that joy to turn to
tragedy because someone ran down a loon baby. Also, this will be the babies
first exposure to fireworks. Their parents are probably used to it as they were
born in the area and know what to expect. We will have a week or more of booms
on the lake because of the legalization of fireworks. People will be shooting
fireworks directly over the water so you are probably going to hear a lot of
tremulo cries from the loons. That is what they do when they are upset. So far,
we know the loons don’t like the eagles or the planes that take off and land on
the lake but they are used to the rumble of the big boats and the wakes. The
fireworks will be a new experience. Please, please be careful, watchful, and
inform your neighbors to keep an eye out for the loons. Bring your binoculars
for a spectacular viewing of these magnificent birds. These are Six Mile Lake
loons…the first EVER born on this lake as far as I know. Let’s do everything
we can to protect them in their journey from baby to adulthood. Should you see
anyone chasing or harassing the loons call the Antrim County Sheriff or call
Kelly at 231-544-2781. Get the numbers off the boat or take pictures and thank
you in advance for your involvement and concern.

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