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Loon Pioneers

Gene Klco, having installed a nesting raft three years ago and sticking with his effort (with some encouraging from me), saw the first hatching of a loon chick on Lark’s Lake, well, in anyone’s memory.

His father, who reported for Michigan Loonwatch on Emmet County’s Lark’s Lake throughout the eighties, closely followed the loons there, but never saw a successful nest or chicks. The presence of the nesting raft, located in the right place, made the difference. It took three years for the loons to come round to it, but they did, and the photos Gene has sent me this season are the proof that with time, the right site selection, and the offer of an island (loons strongly prefer islands) the resident loons will do the natural thing.

I’ve posted Gene’s photos on earlier pieces on this website, and here are a few recent ones showing the fairly grown-up chick, who still begs its parents for food, who, not unlike any human parent (you and me alike) readily comply.

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You have to look pretty close to see that this is not a picture of three chicks, but a series of one chick during a wing flap sequence.

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