Volume 68| January 2018
Greetings!
I know it's already the end of January but I would be remiss not to wish you a Happy New Year! We are continuing to experience a whacky winter here in New Hampshire with snow, freezing rain, frigid temperatures and a brief warming spell (well, after single digits and sub-zero temperatures for a few weeks, temps in the upper 30's/low 40's seem quite balmy). The good news, though, is that LPC Senior Biologist John Cooley only had to don the "yellow suit" once this winter. With help from Ted Walski and Ed Motyka of NH Fish and Game, John was able to successfully rescue an iced-in loon from Stone Pond in Marlborough, NH on December 18.

The female loon was banded on Grafton Pond in 2012, where she bred through 2016, but was displaced from her territory in 2017. Local photographer, Libby Corbin, took a picture of a loon on Grafton Pond on April 20 with fishing line tangled around its bill (see below).
We were unable to confirm that the tangled loon was definitely the banded female from that territory but we suspect it might have been. An intruding loon was also observed in the same territory that day and an unbanded female held the territory in 2017. The loon was able to remove the fishing line on its own, as a tangled loon was not seen again on Grafton Pond last summer. However, that may have been enough of a distraction, causing her to lose the territory.

The rescued loon was taken to Maria Colby from Wings of Dawn Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Henniker and is still undergoing treatment.

Many thanks to Mary & Brian Granger who first alerted us to the situation on Stone Pond and sent a photo. The little speck in the middle of the picture to the right is the stranded loon.

Hopefully the next time we see a loon it will be back on its breeding lake in the spring (unless of course you head to the coast for a winter birding adventure)!
While the above ice rescue was not captured on video, John did appear on the Season 10 premiere of North Woods Law on January 7! The show, which airs on Animal Planet on Sunday evenings, features the work of NH's Conservation Officers. In this episode, John & Caroline (LPC Field Program Coordinator) are filmed capturing and banding a loon in northern NH (if you don't want to watch the whole episode you can scroll to 24:22 and 34:33 to see the loon segments). I've heard that a few more episodes this season will include stories on loons so make sure to set your DVR!
 
We have been busy in the office working on some winter projects including analyzing climate data, contaminant data, the effectiveness of nest warning signs, and looking into fish communities. We also had help from recent college graduate, Emily Burke, who has been researching the best ways to analyze sunrise and sunset times collected from a geolocator that was affixed to a band on a loon from Bow Lake. The geolocator was fitted in 2014 and retrieved in 2016 so we have a few years of location information to review! These are just a few of the topics that will be discussed at the upcoming Northeast Loon Study Working Group Meeting (NELSWG) in March at LPC.

In the last e-newsletter, I mentioned that LPC just published a ground-breaking paper on the population-level effects of lead fishing tackle on loons in the Journal of Wildlife Management . Between 1989-2012, 48.6% of adult loons that were collected died as a result of lead tackle ingestion, reducing the population growth rate by 1.4%. That may not seem like a large percentage, but for a bird species like loons, which are long-lived with low productivity rates, the population was reduced by 43% over the 24 years of the study. There would be a lot more loons in New Hampshire if so many did not die from ingested lead fishing tackle. Click here to access the full article.

Before I sign off, I'd like to thank everyone who has supported our 2017 annual appeal so far. The support is much appreciated and will help us to continue our good work to safeguard NH's loons in 2018! If you haven't already done so, there's still time to send in your donation. Click here to donate online.

Take care until next time,

Susie

Susie Burbidge
Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator

P.S. I'm still playing around with the design of the e-newsletter but the general consensus is that most people like the new format. Thanks for the feedback!
Upcoming Events
February 15; 7 pm
The Loon Center

March 1; 5:30 pm - 9 pm
Coach House Restaurant
New London

Chasing Prairie Chicken and Other Colorado Birding Adventures
March 15; 7 pm
The Loon Center

Journey of Discovery: A Botanist on the Lewis & Clark Trail
April 19; 7 pm
The Loon Center

LPC's Summer Luncheon and Benefit Auction
June 24; 11 am - 2 pm
Bald Peak Colony Club
This picture was taken a few years ago in Nova Scotia and is one of my all-time favorite winter loon pictures. Looks like the loon found a very tasty treat! Stay tuned for more winter loon pictures in the next e-newsletter. Photo credit: Reigh Higgins.
Loon Preservation Committee | 603-476-LOON (5666) | www.loon.org

Loon Center Winter Hours: Thursday-Saturday; 9 am to 5 pm
The Loon Preservation Committee is dedicated to restoring and maintaining a healthy population of loons throughout New Hampshire; monitoring the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and promoting a greater understanding of loons and the natural world.