Maine loon census up

Posted Jan. 14, 2009, at 9:56 a.m.

FALMOUTH, Maine — Maine’s adult loon population appears to be on the rebound after two years of declines.

According to Maine Audubon’s annual loon count, volunteers spotted 1,728 adult loons and 164 chicks on 280 lakes and ponds in the southern half of Maine one morning in July.

Based on that count, the organization estimates last year’s southern Maine adult loon population at 2,784. That’s an increase from 2,432 in 2007 and 2,595 in 2006.

Southern Maine’s chick population for 2008 was estimated to be 265, a drop from a near-record high of 422 the year before. Chick populations typically swing from year to year and the population has remained stable over time.