Loons have been present each summer on Star Lake as far back as anyone can remember. Usually families with chicks are observed, but some summers without chicks have gone by. There is a tradition that loons next on "Loon Island" the smallest of the five islands on the lake, which is basically a single bush surrounded by reeds. I have, however, never observed a loon nest there, nor anywhere on the lake I am aware of.
Loons migrate south each year to various ocean habitats.
From Tremolo, Fall, 2007, published by Loon Watch at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College, Ashland: "Loon chicks. . .will migrate to the ocean and stay there for up to five years. At about three years of age they will get their adult plumage, and may return north, but typically won't begin nesting until they are five years old. Loons that were banded as chicks have shown that some return to the lake or to the region where they were born."
A short entry in the Environment Section of National Geographic (2009) suggests that mercury may be affecting loons: causing "loony" behavior, smaller eggs, not chicks, and less ability to care for the chicks. The is a result of the fact that loons eat fish, and the fish at the top of the food chain accumulate toxic levels of mercury. (Mercurial Loons)Charles P. ForbesOctober 25, 2007
Comprehensive References****. Loon Monitoring Data Going On-line. [Tremolo, Spring, 2008, p. 2.] Ashland, 2008. View Full Entry (Full text available)Booth, Glenda. Uncommon Loon. [Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine, Vol. 37. #1, Feb. 2013, pp 4-9.] Madison, 2013. View Full Entry (Full text available)Cofield, Tom. Oddities in Nature. [Maryland Conservationist, V.57 #1 Jan/Feb 1981] 1981. View Full EntryDiehl, Jean. Loon Chase. Mt. Pleasant, SC, 2006. View Full EntryDownie, Mary Alice. King's Loon, The. [Kids Canada Series, Stories from Canadian History] Toronto, 1979. View Full EntryEwert, David. Loon Watching. [Nature Conservancy News, V.37 #3 June/July 1987 p.23] Arlington, VA, 1987. View Full EntryFisher, Ron. Still Waters, White Waters; Exploring America's Rivers and Lakes. Washington, 1977. View Full EntryHolland, Jennifer. Mercurial Loons. [National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 216, #5, Nov. 2009, Environment Section] Washington, 2009. View Full Entry (Full text available)Klein, Thomas. Loon Magic. Ashland, 1985. View Full EntryToye, William. Loon's Necklace. Oxford and New York, 1977. View Full Entry
Major References****. Tremolo. Ashland, ser. View Full Entry (Full text available)Davis, Tom. Symbol of the Lake Country: The Loon. [Wisconsin Trails, 44:2, May/June, 2003, pp. 26-29.] Black Earth, Wis., 2003. View Full EntryGaskill, Beckie. Loon Project. [Summer Times, July/August, 2016, p. 6A.] Minocqua, 2016. View Full EntryHollatz, Tom. Loon Book, The. St. Cloud, MN, 1984. View Full EntryLeMoine, Erica. Lakes Monitoring Program--Annual Report. [Tremolo, Spring 2012] Ashland, 2012. View Full EntryLenten, Laurie. Turf Wars. [Living on the Lake, August/September 2010, p. 6] Rhinelander, 2010. View Full EntryMcIntyre, Judith. Common Loon Cries for Help. [National Geographic, 175:4, Apr 1989, p.510] 1989, . View Full EntryMcIntyre, Judith. Common Loon Spirit of Northern Lakes. Minneapolis, 1988. View Full EntryPohlen, Jerome. Oddball Wisconsin. Chicago, 2001. View Full EntrySigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Loon Watch. Crossroads in Understanding Loon Behavior. [Tremolo, Spring 2007, p. 5.] Ashland, 2007. View Full EntryWeinandt, Meggin. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS OF COMMON LOON. [Master's Thesis, Northern Michigan University] Marquette, MI, 2006. View Full Entry (Full text available)White, Rachel. Oneida County Is the Center of Loon Behavioral Research. [Lakeland Times, August 15, 2008, p. 7] Minocqua, 2008. View Full EntryWiener, Rob, Ed.. Surveying Species, Monitoring Wisconsin's Wildlife. [Northbound, Vol. 27, #1, Winter 2007.] Eagle River, 2007. View Full Entry
Minor References****. Northland Students Study Effects of Climate Change on Local Lakes and Loons. [Tremolo, Winter 2009, p. 5,] Ashland, 2009. View Full Entry (Full text available)Gilchrist, Susan. Science Supporting Decisions, 2001-2003 Biennial Report, Wisconsin DNR, Bureau of Integrated Science Services. [PUB-SS-985 2003] Madison, 2003. View Full EntryLeMoine, Erica. Dr. Walter Piper's Loon Behavior Research in Wisconsin. [Tremolo, Spring 2012] Ashland, 2012. View Full EntryLondon, Johathan. Loon Lake. San Francisco, 2002. View Full Entry
+++FEWER CHICKS IN 2011
The LoonWatch Annual Report for 2011 indicated fewer checks per adult pair in 2011 and attributed this to two causes: (1) the stress of more loons competing for the same limited territory and (2) "an infestation of black flies that caused loons to leave their nests to rid themselves of the pesky insects." See: ##1742 LeMoine##, ##398 McIntyre##, and ##1741 Weinandt##.