Submitted by Bob Malbon, Town of Hyde Park
The rivers flow north
The lakes have chased the ice
The Loons are home
Green River Reservoir State Park, with over 600 acres of water, has room for several Loon pairs to spread out and find a nesting site. Loons are territorial and don’t like to have competition within sight, so at this time of the year there’s a bit of push and shove.
Loons nest close to the water’s edge. Their bodies are built for swimming and diving, not walking on land. However, high water can flood nest sites causing the pair to lose their eggs.
Three decades back there were only seven nesting pairs state-wide. Through the hard work of many dedicated volunteers, there are now 90 breeding pairs. Two eggs are the norm; they hatch in 26 to 31 days. The young are on the water soon after they hatch. They are fed by both parents while swimming, or while hitching rides on the adults’ backs. The ever-vigilant adults are continually on the watch for predators and can make the chicks vanish quickly.
Loons are quite tolerant of the humans on the Green River Reservoir and they tend to be the number one wildlife attraction. The observant visitor can also find Great Blue Heron, Mergansers, Belted Kingfishers, Beaver, River Otter and an occasional Moose.
Green River Reservoir State Park with its remote camping, human-powered craft, island camp sites, Loons calling, and the Milky Way overhead against a dark sky is a wonderful way to spend a vacation. The Park has 5,500 acres within the 19 miles of shoreline. It is busy on the Summer weekends, so call early for a camp site. Check the web for reservations.