e-Newsletter Vol. 57
In This Issue
Raft & Sign Workshop
Getting Ready for the Breeding Season
Upcoming Events
Swimmers Wanted!
Stay Connected
Join Our Mailing List
Contact Us 

Happy Spring!  As I sit here writing this e-newsletter I am thinking back to the Northeast Loon Study Working Group (NELSWG) meeting that was held at LPC two weeks ago (well, we had to relocate to the Moultonborough Fire Department on Day 1 because there was no power at The Loon Center).  The agenda was jam-packed for the 2-day meeting and topics included: climate change and loons in NH, the Massachusetts chick relocation project, loons in the West, an update on the Squam Lake Loon Initiative, bioaccumulations of cyanotoxins in loon blood and feathers, and an update on the Fish Lead Free efforts in Maine & NH, along with a new lead tackle and fishing line recycling program in Massachusetts, to name a few.  I was fascinated to hear that in Wyoming a pair of common loons was breeding at an elevation of 8305 feet on a suspected fishless lake!  This was only one of the 1,358 cool things that I learned during the meeting.  As usual, I felt so energized on my way home!
A packed meeting room at The Loon Center on Day 2 of the annual NELSWG meeting.  Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson

We did not set any ice-out records this year like we did in 2016.  You may recall that ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee was on March 18, the earliest on record by 5 days.  When do you think it will be this year?  Everyone in the office is happy that we seem to be having a more "normal" spring so far, if there is such a thing these days, especially with our changing climate!

John & Kittie Wilson, long-time LPC volunteers, are continuing their winter loon study in Biddeford Pool, Maine.  As I mentioned in the last e-newsletter, there is so much variation between individuals in the timing of their spring molt.  One of the loons they have been following there again this winter had almost completed its molt as of March 10.
One of the loons that calls Biddeford Pool "home" in the winter.  Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson. 

It's neat to compare it to the photo below taken about a week earlier on March 4.  The differences are subtle, but you can see the changes in the feathers on its head and neck. 
A loon enjoys a morning snack on the ocean.  Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson. 

And, check out the group of loons photographed in Yarmouth Harbor, Nova Scotia, towards the end of February.  What a sight!  See below for more late winter/early spring pictures from Nova Scotia and Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Photo courtesy of Reigh Higgins. 

Did you hear about the loons that were shot on the Cape in February?  It was news to me so I am sharing the link to the story from The Boston Globe here.

I don't want to end on a sad note so I will mention two other things before I sign off.  We have set the date for our annual Spring Work Day for Friday, April 21.  Please come help us build rafts and signs to protect nesting loons!  See below for more information. 

For the 4th straight year, we were recognized by Constant Contact as an "All-Star," an honor that is given to only 10% of their customers!  Thank you, our readers, for helping us receive this award.  We're proud of our work to spread the word about loons and their needs in NH, and happy that you are interested to learn about both!  And while it's nice to receive this award, our most important feedback comes from you.  To show our appreciation, we would like to offer you 10% off one item of your choice (excluding consignment items) in our store through the month of April.  Please visit our gift shop or call to take advantage of this special order for our e-news readers!  (Unfortunately, we can't apply this offer to online purchases, but we're happy to help you over the phone).  Please note the shop is only open 3 days a week at this time of year so shipping may be slightly delayed.  Thank you again for your continued support of our e-newsletter!        

Our webcam tech-guru, Bill Gassman, has been testing out our new camera at his house so we're ready to go when the loons return.  The picture quality this year is going to be amazing!  Look at this short clip of the nighttime sky (and the moon wasn't even out)!

Hopefully the next time I write I will be sharing pictures of the first returning loons for the 2017 season!


All the best until then, 
 
 
Raft & Sign Building Workshop 

Friday, April 21, 2017
9 am - 2 pm
at
The Loon Center
183 Lee's Mill Road
Moultonborough, NH 03254

2016 Spring Work Day volunteers after a very productive day!

Come help get ready for the return of nesting loons!  We are hoping to build 5 new nesting rafts and 10 new signs.

Wear work clothes and bring work gloves, ear plugs, and safety glasses if you have them.  Bring a bag lunch, but snacks and beverages will be provided.

It's fine to attend for part of the workshop--just let us know!

For more information or to RSVP, please call John Cooley at 603-476-5666 or email jcooley@loon.org. 
 
We're looking forward to another
great day!
Getting Ready for the Breeding Season....Maybe?!

As I've stated (and re-stated), there is a lot to learn about loons on their wintering grounds.  The pictures taken by Kittie Wilson and Reigh Higgins give us a glimpse of what's happening on the ocean.

On March 10, the banded female from Mooselookmeguntic Lake was not showing many signs of spring molt like some of the other loons in Biddeford Pool.    
However, a wing flap reveals a beautiful set of new flight feathers.   

Compare the photo above to the one below taken on February 18 of the same loon . . .   
. . . and then one on March 4 and you will see the progression in just a matter of weeks.  Birds never cease to amaze me.  It takes weeks and months for most people to grow out their hair!

A few pictures have also come in recently from Yarmouth Harbor, Nova Scotia.  The photo below was taken on March 18.  It seems that crabs are plentiful all along the Eastern seaboard!  
I'll continue to share photos from the ocean as we get them, but pretty soon, we'll start receiving pictures again of loons on our lakes.  As always, we like to hear when a pair of loons has returned to your lake in the spring--please let us know!

** All of the photos taken in Biddeford Pool, Maine, are courtesy of Kittie Wilson.  The one from Nova Scotia is courtesy of Reigh Higgins. 
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.
 
Sincerely,
 
Susie Burbidge
Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator
Loon Preservation Committee