July 2021
Having trouble viewing this email? View in browser. .
July News & Events
Squam Lake Water Music
The Loon Preservation Committee is proudly partnering with the New Hampshire Music Festival and several other environmental organizations local to the Squam Lakes area to present an on-the-water concert. On July 14 at 6:00 PM, join us for an event that will include music for winds and brass by Gabrieli, Mozart, and Gounod performed from 'barges' anchored in Livermore Cove on Squam Lake.

Join by kayak, canoe, sailboat, or powerboat. Please note that transportation is not provided for this event. For more information, including boating and anchoring directions, please visit nhmf.org.
Presentation: Ospreys of the NH Lakes Region
2021 marks 25 years since Ospreys returned to nest in New Hampshire's Lakes Region. In this presentation, Iain MacLeod will discuss finding new nests in remote beaver ponds and installing nesting platforms to entice new pairs to settle. He will also share some of what he has learned from satellite tagging over a dozen NH Ospreys and following their journeys to South America and back. Tune in Thursday, July 15th at 7 PM for this presentation on our YouTube channel.
New Hampshire Loon Census
The New Hampshire Loon Census will be held Saturday, July 17, from 8:00–9:00 AM. The Loon Census is an an annual event during which members of the public help us to monitor as many lakes as possible at the same time. This creates a 'snapshot in time' of our loon population. Census results are used to compliment our season-long monitoring efforts and help to provide a mid-season check on pair presence, nest status and chick survival on New Hampshire lakes. If you would like to participate in the Loon Census, please email volunteers@loon.org
Presentation: Wildlife of the White Mountains
This illustrated program, presented by LPC board member Dave Govatski, features the natural history of many of our iconic species such as black bear, moose, snowshoe hare, bobcat, and American marten. Dave will introduce us to insects, reptiles, amphibians, and birds that make our mountains their home. He will discuss trends in wildlife populations, such as range expansion and contraction, and provide tips on where and when to see wildlife. Tune in Thursday, July 22 at 7 PM for this presentation on our YouTube channel.
Presentation: Geology of the Lakes Region
In this presentation, Jim Vernon will discuss geologic features of the New Hampshire Lakes Region. He will summarize millions of years of geologic history, from mountain building, to ancient volcanoes and seas, to ice ages that have created the landscape we see today. Tune in Thursday, July 29 at 7 PM for this presentation on our YouTube channel.
Seeking Loon Center Volunteers
We are seeking volunteers to help in the Loon Center this summer! Loon Center volunteers may help with any of the following: greeting visitors; conducting sales; maintaining the overall appearance of gift shop and meeting room; assisting in organizing and maintaining storage areas; re-stocking merchandise in gift shop; and answering basic questions about LPC, loons and the surrounding Lakes Region. If you'd like to help around the Loon Center, please call us at 603-476-5666 or send an email to info@loon.org!
Photo courtesy of Ray Hennessy.
We'll Buy Your Lead Tackle!
To reduce loon mortalities from lead poisoning, the Loon Preservation Committee continues to partner with NH Fish and Game and local tackle shops to put on a lead tackle buyback program. Please visit loonsafe.org for program details.
LPC at Work
Because the month of June is the time when the majority of New Hampshire loons begin to nest and hatch chicks, it is typically a very busy time for us at LPC. This year was no exception! Over the past several weeks, LPC staff have been hard at work surveying lakes for loon presence, building and floating signs to help protect loons nesting in vulnerable spots from human disturbance, and monitoring the progress of loon nests.
LPC At-Large Field Biologist, Emma Purinton, and Lakes Region Biologist, Jayden Jech, celebrate a job well done after a day of sign construction. These signs were deployed at vulnerable nesting sites throughout the state to help protect nesting loons.
LPC At-Large Field Biologist, Emma Purinton, prepares to float a sign to protect nesting loons.
To date, LPC biologists have documented the hatch of more than 100 chicks throughout the state! We still have many loon pairs on the nest, so this number is likely to increase in the coming weeks. If you see loons on the water with their chicks, please be sure to give them plenty of space. It's a full time job for a loon pair to raise their chicks to fledging age. They need to devote all of their attention towards catching fish to feed their chicks and monitoring their surroundings for potential predators. If adult loons are distracted by the close approach of boats (including motor boats AND human powered boats such as canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards), they cannot properly care for their chicks. Please be sure to give loon families the space that they need to succeed!
A loon chick hitches a ride on its parent's back. Photo courtesy of John Rockwood.
Each year, we collect a number of deceased loons. While it is always sad to lose a loon, performing necropsies on those that die can help us to better understand causes of loon mortality and detect emerging threats to loons. And sometimes, the collection of a deceased loon brings questions with it. Such was the case when LPC volunteers on Kingston Lake reported a loon mortality this week. The loon was banded, and the volunteers who found and collected the loon sent photos of the loon's bands to us. Interestingly, the unique color combination formed by the four bands did not match any loons banded in New Hampshire. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that this loon had originally been banded in Minnesota in 1998! What was this 26+ year old Minnesota loon doing on a New Hampshire lake during the breeding season? We're not sure! It may be that this loon got turned around during migration or was unwell early this spring and unable to complete its migration back to Minnesota. The loon was taken to our colleagues at the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic lab for a necropsy. We look forward to the necropsy results and hope hope that learning more about the cause of this loon's death may shed some light on what caused it to turn up so far from where it should have been at this time of year.
The deceased loon's leg bands revealed its identity: a male loon originally banded as an adult in Minnesota in 1998. Photo courtesy of Susan Palmeter.
Loon Fact of the Month
Because they spend essentially all of their time in the water (with the exception of when they're on the nest), it is important for loons to keep their feathers waterproof and in good condition. To do this, loons perform a behavior known as preening. During preening, a loon uses its bill to obtain oil secreted by the uropygial gland, an oil-secreting gland located close to the base of the tail. It then distributes that oil throughout its feathers by running its bill over them. To preen its breast and belly feathers, a loon will roll onto its back, oftentimes sticking one foot into the air, and pull at those feathers with its bill. To oil the feathers on the back of its head and neck, a loon will rub those areas against its back. After they are done preening, loons typically raise their bodies up out of the water and flap their wings vigorously in order to realign their feathers.

Preening can look alarming to those who have never seen it before—during preening, loons may appear to be trying to pull something off of their bodies, and the rolling and flipping motions that they do can seem abnormal. We often receive reports during the summer from folks who think the loon is in distress. But, this is a perfectly normal self-maintenance behavior!
A preening common loon. Video courtesy of John Rockwood.
Similar in function to preening is another odd looking loon behavior: bathing. Loons bathe to clean their feathers and rid themselves of feather lice or other external parasites. Bathing is typically much more vigorous looking than preening—a bathing loon may do any of the following: completely roll over in the water while thrashing its wings, flail one or both wings in the air, flail one or both legs in the air, slap or beat the water’s surface with its wings, dive backwards into the water, and submerge its head in the water and thrash. While a bathing loon can appear to be in distress, this is a completely normal behavior that loons perform to keep themselves healthy.
A bathing common loon. Video courtesy of Alexis Rudko.
Item of the Month: Loon Door Chime
This July, loon door chimes are on sale for 10% off in our online store! This chime features a loon stamped out of black leather with two attached brass bells. Learn more here.
Loon Preservation Committee | 603-476-LOON (5666) | www.loon.org
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.