On Wednesday afternoon, 45 days after the eggs were laid, the one remaining egg was inadvertently dragged along with the male as he got off the nest. The egg ended up floating in the water in front of the nest. Later, in the early evening, the local field biologist collected the egg and answered some questions asked by viewers.
So, if we add up the total stats for this year’s loon nest cam, we have two nesting pairs that laid a total of four eggs; one egg hatched and the chick is still surviving. This averages out to 0.5 chick surviving per pair. That may seem to be a dismal productivity record but, in all honesty, that’s pretty close to the average state-wide loon productivity rate. Statistical models show that, in order for loons to maintain their population levels, the chicks surviving per pair rate needs to be at least 0.48.
Loons have a long life. Once a loon reaches full maturity, we can expect as much as 15 to 20 years of productivity. At the average rate, that means a loon will fledge, on average, about seven to ten chicks. A very long-lived and productive loon could double those numbers.
For New Hampshire loons, success comes slowly and with a lot of hard work. That’s why we need to give them all the help we can.