Annual Branch Pond Loon Count

Please join us for the Annual Loon Count on Branch Pond! In coordination with the

National Audubon Society, we organize a full canvas of the lake to conduct our loon count. We could use some extra eyes covering a few areas of the lake. If interested in joining, please contact Pat Edsall at: edsallpd@aol.com 

2020 Loon Count on WABI TV BANGOR

This year's Branch Lake Audubon Loon Count got a segment on the local Bangor news with WABI TV 5. 


BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - For the past 37 years thousands of volunteers have participated in the Maine Audubon Loon Count.

The citizen scientists spend their Saturday morning trying to provide a glimpse of Maine's loon population. 

Pat Edsall says, ”It certainly has a lot to do with the loon population in the state of Maine, how it is fairing. But also the lake quality because loons will not stay on a lake that is not clear enough to fish and be able to survive.”

David and Patricia Edsall have been counting loons for many years and say it is very popular on Branch Lake.

She adds, “I have a waiting list. People make it a family affair. It’s just fun to do and it’s disappointing when we come back and we haven’t seen any. It’s always exciting when someone says oh yes I have seen a loon. I’ve seen a chick or I have seen 4 adults.”

Saturday there were more than 40 volunteers that covered 23 sections of Branch.

"We are right in the middle of our section now."

David says loons are the "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to the health of the lake.

David Edsall says, “I think we are the 4th clearest lake in the state. Thirty to thirty-five feet of visibility and loons fish by swimming underwater and catching their fish so they have to have good visibility.”

Last year the Maine Audubon estimated a population of over 3-thousand loons and nearly 400 chicks for the southern half of the state.

He adds, “We have 2 to 4 chicks usually that are born but in the last several years’ none of them have made it or have been seen on the day of the count. Only about 1 out of 4 chicks survive.”

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


2020 Loon Count: 18 July from 7:00 - 7:30 AM


Maine has more loons than any other state in the Northeast, with estimates

putting the total at more than 5,000 statewide. Every summer, on the morning of the third Saturday of July, more than 900 volunteers go out on lakes and ponds across the state to count loons, including Branch Lake.  Their reports of what they find between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. provide an excellent “snapshot” of Maine’s loon

population, and over the last three decades, Maine Audubon has tracked the loon populations steady growth in Maine. 

State Project Link:​​ The Maine Loon Count - Maine Audubon​​

July 18th 2015 UPDATE on the LOON COUNT from Cathy Blair, Loon Count Coordinator:


2015 was another successful year for our Loon population on Branch Lake.  We held the annual loon count for Audubon on Saturday July 18th from 7 a.m. till 7:30 a.m. Our lake was divided into 15 areas with 15 counter volunteer groups. This year we had a total of 13 adults and one chick! This is our second year with surviving chicks, which is great news.  Our young chick was hatched up in Lee Cove. Since we had such an early sighting on the chick, we were able to add a counter for the morning of the 18th in that particular area. 

As a side note, there are a few shallow, obscure cove areas on our lake that are not necessarily covered on our count day. So, if anyone ever spots nesting activity or sees newly hatched chicks, please report this to me so that I can ensure that these chicks are included on our count day.  

Thank you to all our counters who take the time each year to get out on the lake and search for loons on the 3rd Saturday of July. This coming year our count will be held on Saturday July 16th and as always will be from 7 a.m. till 7:30 a.m. . Please email me if you have an interest in monitoring our loon population on this day.  What a treat it is to partner with the National Audubon Society in this way.

Cathy Blair 

Loon Count Results