the Maine Loon LbNA # 9359
|Placed Date||Jul 6 2004|
|Last Edited||Sep 14 2015|
THE MAINE LOON
Two kinds of loons are found in Maine. The red-throated loon is mainly a coastal bird, usually only seen during spring and fall migration. The common loon, Gavia Immer, is larger and colored differently than the red-throated loon, and is found throughout the state except along the coast and in extreme southwestern Maine. The common loon displays distinctive plumage with black head and neck and white necklace; the eyes are red. The approximate size of a goose, the loon is long-bodied with a thin, short neck and black dagger like beak. In fall, adult loons become gray with white underparts while their eyes change to brown.
Loons are skillful swimmers and divers and can stay underwater for long periods of time. Loons are strong fliers although often needing hundreds of feet of take off and landing space. Loon landings have often been described as “controlled crashes.” Because they are so vulnerable on land, loons build their nests on the waters edge usually leaving them unconcealed. Loons prefer quiet lakes or estuary’s on which to live and enjoy a diet of fish, frogs, leeches, and shellfish. It is believed that loons mate for life.
Loons are perhaps most noted for their distinctly haunting calls; four main types of loon calls exist. Wails keep loons in contact with each other; only males produce yodels when defending territory. Tremolos are used when loons feel threatened or are defending their chicks; hoots are intimate calls between a pair or a parent and chicks.
Mount Blue State Park
Swett Brook Trail
This is another box added on to the Mt Blue park box placed there in 2002 by myself.
After you have found the first box continue to the paved road. There is a stream crossing just before the road. Be careful there are no planks to help you across. Go straight across the road and continue on the trail. This is a much longer hike than the beginning piece of the trial. Continue to climb a gentle up hill slope. You will cross a series of single plank bridges that span a very muddy, bog-like section of the trail. There are over 4 sections of these single planked bridges on your journey. Walking sticks would help in this section. You will know when you are at the end of the single planks when you start to climb uphill again. As you start to climb uphill again look on the right side of the trail for a LARGE Pine tree………..continuing on up the trail you will see a LARGE doubled trunk white birch tree. The Maine loon is nesting here far from the beach area.
You can retrace your steps and go back to the paved road and turn right to head back to the parking lot or you can continue to follow the trail……the entire trail is about 2 miles .
If you continue on the trail you will come to a sharp left. Stay on the beaten path as we did see some red marked trees off in the woods at this point. Continue on the beaten path through a pine grove. You will cross over a double planked bridge. You will pass a large downed cut tree that has been conveniently split across the path. Continue walking . Next you will come to the intersection of a well-groomed path. If you go left you will enter the camping ground (this is a great State Park camping area ………it is never crowded and the programs offered by the rangers are very informative !!!!!!!) go right towards the beach area . You will come to another intersection .. here you can walk to the beach across the parking lot straight ahead or go left on the paved road to return to the parking area.