2019 Loon Count Roundup! Images, Video, and Headlines from the Big Day!

The 36th Annual Maine Loon Count was conducted this past Saturday, July 20. It was a hot, steamy morning … perfect for cruising around a Maine lake looking for loons! Each year the loon count attracts more than 1,000 volunteers counting on more than 500 lakes.

Maine Audubon biologists will be collecting the reports and numbers in the coming weeks to get an updated picture of the health of the breeding Common Loon population in the state. Over the past 35 years, Maine Audubon has worked alongside Maine citizens to protect loons by encouraging boaters to reduce wake near nests, improve nesting habitat and water quality, and spread the word about the importance of fishing with tackle that does not contain lead. Thanks to these efforts the breeding loon population has more than doubled since Maine Audubon launched the loon count 36 years ago!

Here’s a link to an interactive map where you can see how loon populations have changed on your nearby lake or pond over the years.

Equally exciting for us here at Maine Audubon, it was the first count for our new Loon Project Manager, Tracy Hart! Tracy joined long-time loon counter and regional coordinator Elwood Beach on the loon count conducted on Raymond Pond. They sighted 3 adult loons in the section of the lake they surveyed, including one on an island nest.


While the reports are still coming in, many of you took to social media to share your experiences on the water. Here’s a sampling!

Tessa Chaffey Ftorek took this video of a loon family on Boyden Lake in Washington County. Please note that the “penguin dance” the trailing loon gives at the 0:03 second mark is a clear sign that the kayaker is too close! If you see a loon doing this movement please back off immediately.

User queenbeeknits was happy to get a break from the heat!

It was a calm morning for tarateachesthings:

On Facebook, beloved Maine birder and Acadia Birding Festival organizer Becky Marvil had a great experience on Echo Lake on Mt. Desert Island:

The crew at the Rangeley Region Lake Cruises & Kayaking (including Maine Audubon ED Andy Beahm and our friends Nick Leadley and Kevin Sinnett) helped count 32 loons on Rangeley Lake!

Our old pal Jeremy Cluchey took a crew of campers and counselors from Camp Agawam in Raymond out onto Crescent Lake:

The Lake George Regional Park, near Skowhegan and Canaan, sounds like they had a great morning:

Jane Kirton had a great morning on Square Lake in Shapleigh:

The Loon Count also made the news in several local outlets. Here was the headline at WGME 13:

And the same story appeared in SeacoastOnline.com:

WABI 5 in Bangor featured some lovely video of some loons on the water:

We’ll keep you posted on what our biologists find out about how our loons are doing as they tally the data collected by our many loon counters and regional coordinators. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered their time on a hot summer day to help track the status of Maine’s beloved loon population!

{Update 7/25: Here’s a great article from the Waldo County VillageSoup about the loon count on Lake St. George!}