“Nature speaks in the call of the loon.”

The Calls of the Loon

Mirror Lake Loons

The Mirror Lake loons, with their unique calls throughout the day and night, and their wondrous fluffy chicks, whom they parent so faithfully, delight all residents and visitors on Mirror Lake. Loons require ample room on a lake not only for mating but especially for taking off during flight. The size of Mirror
Lake is reported in Wikipedia as being 333 acres but on NH state documents the lake apparently spans 378 acres. A loon pair needs at least 200 acres of water including at least a quarter of a mile length for flight preparation and take off. Fortunately, Mirror Lake meets the size criteria and has been home to a mating pair of loons for years. With a life span of between twenty- and thirty-years loons may produce one or two chicks each year but their eggs and young are so vulnerable that some years go by without baby loons. Climate change is contributing to the loss of loon eggs as temperatures climb enough to overheat the eggs during May and June when loon chicks typically hatch.

Loons are large birds typically weighing between seven and fifteen pounds and measuring about three feet from their elongated bills to their feet. Although loons can fly they spend most of their days swimming and diving. They appear awkward on land but their underwater swimming is impressive.

Male loons are typically about 25% larger than females, but their identical plumage makes males and females difficult to distinguish. Their distinctive red eyes contain a pigment which assists in clear vision under water. Loons are territorial yet also social and sometimes as many as eight loons will gather on Mirror Lake socializing. Loons preen and bath daily which accounts for their twirling, thrashing and diving throughout the day. Two loons circling indicates territorial behavior and sometimes ends in a physical confrontation most often between males. The fight may occur above or below the surface of the water as a dominant male attempts to steal territory and a mate. Because Mirror Lake is small, residents often report on incidents involving the loons and are known to chase off predators, especially when chicks are threatened. Humans, too, are advised to keep their distance from the loons and their babies.

Located in nearby Moultonborough, NH The Loon Preservation Committee, located at 183 Lees Mill Road has compiled extensive information about local loons as well as loons throughout the state of New Hampshire. The Loon Preservation Committee provides a loon nest for Mirror Lake which is managed by MLPA members.

Warm Weather Threatens Loons

Tuftonboro Times, Summer 2022
Kathleen Sciarappa
Mirror Lake Protective Association
Warmer, Wetter, Wild Weather!

Clicking button will open the article PDF in a new tab

Scroll to Top