Loons typically lay 1-2 eggs, incubation is 27-30 days. Both parents spend equal amounts of time on the eggs. Staying far away from the nest during the incubation period is essential. If a loon feels threatened, it will scoot off the nest and into the water to escape. Remember, loons cannot walk on land; their legs are far back on their bodies. If a loon flees the nest quickly, the eggs will likely be dragged into the water, making them unviable.

Most chicks leave the nest 12-24 hours after hatching. The chicks will not touch land again for several years, until they migrate to northern waters from coastal waters to start nesting.

One-day-old chicks dive for 1-2 seconds and pop back to the surface like corks. They cannot escape danger by diving underwater and rely solely on their parents for protection from snapping turtles, pike, eagles, blue herons, and boat traffic! Chicks spend most of their first week riding on their parents’ backs.

Please be respectful of the loon pair as they care for the chicks during the first 12 weeks of their lives, preparing them for migration to the coastal waters. On average, only 1 of 2 chicks will survive to adulthood.