Volume 69| March 1, 2018
Greetings!
Winter continues to throw curve balls at us with several inches of snow followed by unseasonably warm temperatures. On my way to work the other day I was wondering if we are going to have another record-breaking early ice out like we did in 2016. Only time will tell, I guess. Personally I am hoping for more snow before the end of winter!
A beautiful sunrise over a frozen Pleasant Lake. Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson.
In the last e-newsletter I told you about a loon that was rescued from the ice on Stone Pond in Marlborough, New Hampshire. Sadly, the loon developed other complications while being treated in rehab so it was euthanized in late January. Many thanks to Maria Colby for everything she did to try to help this loon.

On a happier note, another loon was rescued in Westerly, Rhode Island and then released after a few days of care at the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island. The news came to us after they found out this banded loon was a New Hampshire bird. It turns out the female loon was banded on the Varney Island territory on Lake Winnipesaukee in 2017. We can't wait to see if she returns to breed this summer! Thanks to all involved with the rescue, care, and release of this loon. Click here to read a blog post with pictures and videos of this loon.
Moving further north along the New England coast, another banded loon was spotted in Biddeford Pool, Maine. LPC volunteers Kittie & John Wilson have been watching this loon for the last 4 years and were anxiously awaiting her return again this year. On January 27 Kittie captured some photos of the banded female for the 5th straight year! You may recall that she was banded on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in 2012 by our colleagues at Biodiversity Research Institute but spends the winter in Biddeford Pool, Maine.

As she dives underwater you can see a flash of color on her legs. Perhaps she is going down to get a crab!
I've mentioned it before, but I cannot stress enough how significant these bands re-sights are, especially on the wintering grounds where there are so many unknowns. Winter site fidelity for 5 years in a row is pretty cool! Another loon observed & photographed the same day in Biddeford Pool gave The Wilsons a nice look at some new feathers starting to come in. Out of the 6 loons they observed that day, this loon was the only one molting its flight feathers so far. The timing of spring molt between individuals is so variable.
A wing flap reveals missing flight feathers on the wingtips of a loon at Biddeford Pool, Maine. Loons molt these feathers on their ocean wintering grounds anytime between January and April. Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson.
The Lakes Region Chapter of NH Audubon continues to host talks at The Loon Center throughout the winter and spring. Upcoming topics include Prairie Chickens and Botany on the Lewis and Clark Trail. The talks begin at 7 pm and are free and open to the public.

Make sure to save the date for LPC's annual Summer Luncheon and Auction on Sunday, June 24 at Bald Peak Colony Club. We just confirmed that Steve Curwood, Executive Producer and Host of NPR's Living on Earth , is going to be the Guest Speaker!

Did Punxsutawney Phil get it wrong this year? Do you have a guess as to when ice-out is going to happen? Feel free to send me your predictions and I'll keep track (I can't offer much for the closest guess except fame in the LPC e-newsletter!). With temperatures bouncing up and down lately make sure to use extra caution if you go out on the ice--conditions can change quickly.

If the recent warming trend gave you spring fever and you are longing to see loons, check out the archived 2017 loon cam videos on LPC's YouTube channel . It will be time to set up the webcam again before we know it!

All the best until next time,

Susie

Susie Burbidge
Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator
Upcoming Events
March 1; 5:30 pm - 9 pm
Coach House Restaurant
New London

March 15; 7 pm
The Loon Center

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

May 22

LPC's Summer Luncheon and Benefit Auction
June 24; 11 am - 2 pm
Bald Peak Colony Club
Another Familiar Loon Rescued in Maine

On February 8, a banded loon was found in a parking lot in Sanford, Maine, about 12 miles from the coast. The next day an email came in from Diane Winn who runs Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine, wondering if we recognized the band combination on the loon's legs. Yes! This female loon was originally banded in 2003 on the Whaleback territory on Lake Winnipesaukee, just off the Sanctuary trail at The Loon Center. She was recaptured in 2006 and again in 2014, nesting in about 10 of the last 15 years!

She was resighted on the same territory in 2015 but our Winnipesaukee field biologist also observed other banded female loons there that year, and in 2017 there was a new unbanded female on the territory. Even though the long streak of holding this territory came to an end, she was seen nesting in the Evergreen territory, just one territory away, in 2017. One chick hatched from the nesting raft pictured below!
A female loon, originally banded on the Whaleback territory, hops onto the nesting raft in the Evergreen territory in 2017.
She had a wound on her head, possibly as a result from a crash landing, but it continues to heal well. However, she is being treated for an infection in her jaw/throat area so we are not sure when she can be released. We will keep you posted! Many thanks to everyone at Avian Haven for their care of this loon.
The 2003 Whaleback female enjoys time in the pool at Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine. In captivity it's important for loons to have access to water to regain any waterproofing and to alleviate pressure on their keel. Photo courtesy of Avian Haven.
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.