More Information About Our Loon Pair

We’re happy to announce that the same pair we’ve been watching on this webcam since 2014 has once again returned this year! We know this because both of the loons in this pair are banded. If you watch closely, you may be able to catch sight of the bands when the loons are swimming by the camera. The female’s bands are orange dot over blue on her left leg and blue dot over silver on her right leg. The male’s bands are red stripe over green on his left leg and white over silver on his right leg.

This pair has an interesting history. The female was originally banded as an adult in 1998. Loons do not mature until they are at least 3 years old, so we know that she is, at minimum, 24 years old. However, because loons will, on average, not breed successfully until they are 6 years old, it is likely that this female is actually at least 27! We know less about the male’s history because he was only banded in 2014. He was an adult at the time of banding, so we know that he is, at minimum, 8 years old.

Though we only know for certain that this pair has been together since 2014 (when the male was banded for the first time), it is possible that this pair has been together much longer. Prior to the male being banded in 2014, this female was paired with an unbanded mate since 1999. That means that there is a chance (though it is not possible to confirm) that this pair has been together for two decades! Since she was initially banded in 1998, this female has successfully hatched 17 chicks! At least 6 of these chicks were fathered by her current mate. This loon pair has a strong history of nesting success, and we hope that will continue this year!