Loons, loons, loons – great year for loons …

SOMESVILLE – Nature photographer Ray Yeager captures amazing images with his 500mm lens, made more compelling by the fact that it’s right down the road on Echo Lake. He shows their various activities – from flapping wings to do the “penguin walk” to bringing along the young ones.


Extraordinary photos of loons and chicks; plus update on nesting and hatching ..

SOMESVILLE – Nature photographer Ray Yeager took these recently at Somes Pond of loons and their chicks, including an adult feeding a baby and one of a chick swallowing a big fish. You may purchase these and others at https://www.rtyphotography.com/Photography

Billy Helprin, who tracks the progress of the loons for the Somes-Meynell Nature Sanctuary, is projecting nine surviving chicks out of 13 hatched this year on MDI.

“Very good at this point in the summer,” Bill wrote in his email to members. “It would not be surprising if that ratio gets lower before the end of the summer, but so far it is a big loon chick production year for MDI. My friend and loon researcher Lee Attix has recently shared that the situation is not looking that good for some of the western Maine lakes that he monitors, in part due to nest flooding from big thunderstorm rainfalls and social chaos from intruders.
“Thanks to the annual Audubon loon counters on MDI including: Sandy Swinburne, Dan & Tessa Kane, Maggie Denison, Kathy Baxter, Ruth Yeiser, Jake Ressel, Rob & Connie Shea, Diana Ansley, Becky Marvil, Anne Dalton, Dave Oullette, Ray Yeager, Bo Greene, Abigail Muscat, Debi Blank, Sharon Knopp, Enoch Albert, Martie Crone, Steve Mullane, and Allison Gingerich.”

Loon chicks survival on MDI looking to be a good year …



SOMESVILLE, July 11 – Billy Helprin reported earlier this week that MDI appears to be having a good year for loon chicks to survive on its lakes and ponds.

“We have a likely seven out of 10 chicks hatched still surviving with three more nesting pairs on deck to hatch eggs within the next week,” Billy reported. “If we kept what we had that would be a very high percentage. With a possible six more chicks at this point that may supplement others who will be lost to a variety of causes, it’s looking like a good loon chick production year for MDI. We’ll see if that holds…”

I never tire of loon photos by the likes of top-notch nature photographers such as Ray Yeager and Denise Houseknecht.

And a video captured by Ray Yeager of sibling fisticuffs truly tugged at my inner soul.


“The video showed just how vigorous the battling early on can be,” Billy wrote: “In the video you can also hear and see the adult’s responses to a likely intruding loon flying overhead. You will hear a duet tremolo and the male giving his territorial defense yodel. As for the fighting in the video, the older chick has the advantage with strength gained from being fed longer but the youngster puts up a good fight.”

Enjoy! And please support the Somes Meynell Nature Sanctuary which allows Billy to maintain all these precious assets on our behalf.

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