Humans are not the only seasonal residents on Balch. We are lucky to have a healthy population of Common Loon pairs that arrive just before ice out in the Spring and then depart for the seacoast when icing starts in late Fall.
Their calls can be heard across the lake throughout the summer, but particularly in the earlier part of the season when the adult loons are involved in nesting and protecting their fledgling chicks who are most vulnerable in their first 12 weeks of life – usually the months of June, July and August.
When they aren’t being heard, our Loons are certainly very visible (on occasion Balch has had more than six pairs of birds on the lake) in the coves and the wide channels on both the ME and NH ends of the water.
It is in all of our interests to preserve the habitat and encourage the growth of our loon population. Adult loons will continue to return to the same breeding lake as long as conditions remain favorable and Balch Lake is lucky to have a number of volunteers and loon enthusiasts who work hard to document and protect our loons.
Living with our loons successfully means understanding, respecting and encouraging their nesting areas; being vigilant and careful with our boat traffic when the birds are on the water – especially with their chicks; obeying NH/ME laws on fishing tackle use and disposal; following wake speed guidance – particularly during the nesting season.