August 2022
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LPC News & Events
Loon Center Presentation
Join us from 2–3 PM on August 10th for a presentation about loons at the Loon Center in Moultonborough! In this presentation, we will discuss loon biology, life history, threats, and the work of the Loon Preservation Committee and our volunteers to recover New Hampshire's threatened common loon population.
Loon Cruises
Each year, LPC teams up with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center to offer loon cruises on Squam Lake. Now through August 26th, Loon Cruises are offered every Monday and Friday at 3 PM. To learn more or purchase tickets, please click here.
August 11th: Summer Nature Talk— Should we relocate turtles? With Chris Bogard
Have you ever found a turtle crossing a road and decided to move it to a safer location? Surprisingly, this may prove to be even more hazardous to the relocated turtle. Disease, genetic and dispersal issues are some of the topics to be discussed by Wildlife Rehabilitator Chris Bogard in this talk. State endangered and threatened turtles will also make an appearance! Join us in person at the Loon Center (183 Lees Mill Road in Moultonborough) or virtually on our YouTube channel at 7 PM EDT.
August 18th: Summer Nature Talk—Bird Migration: Fun Facts and Shameless Speculations with Dr. Pam Hunt
Why do birds migrate? How do they know where they're going? The phenomenon of bird migration has fascinated people for millennia, and in this program the answers are finally revealed! Dr. Pam Hunt of NH Audubon will provide an overview of bird migration, including how scientists study it. We'll also discuss examples of migration routes of some familiar (and unfamiliar) species and touch on the conservation issues facing migratory birds. Join us in person at the Loon Center (183 Lees Mill Road in Moultonborough) or virtually on our YouTube channel at 7 PM EDT.
August 25th: End of Season Potluck and Summer Nature Talk—End of Season Report by John Rockwood and Harry Vogel
Join us to celebrate the end of another loon breeding season! Potluck dinner begins at 5 PM and LPC's Annual Meeting begins at 6:45. At 7 PM, our final Summer Nature Talk of the season will begin. Wildlife photographer John Rockwood will share photos and video of local loon families from two southern NH lakes, from arrival through August. LPC Senior Biologist/Executive Director, Harry Vogel, will present trends in New Hampshire's loon population and preliminary statistics on how loons fared in NH this year. The nature talk will be live streamed on our YouTube channel at 7 PM.
Photo courtesy of Chris Bogard
Photo courtesy of Dr. Pam Hunt
Photo courtesy of John Rockwood.
Loon Census and 43rd Annual Loon Festival
On July 16th, LPC held our Annual Loon Census. During the Loon Census, a total of 458 volunteers took to 114 lakes across New Hampshire to count loons. In total, they documented 462 adult loons, 80 loon chicks, and 4 immature loons. This census coverage represents roughly 1/3 of the lakes that LPC biologists monitor annually, and as such, our final population numbers for the season (which will be detailed during our End of Season Summer Nature Talk on August 25th) will likely be higher.

The Loon Census helps LPC to monitor the progress of known loon nests, discover previously unknown nests, check on the survival of chicks that have hatched in the previous weeks, and detect new loon chicks that may have hatched since biologists last surveyed a given water body. Census results are incorporated into LPC’s summer-long monitoring data. We sincerely thank all of the volunteers who got up early on a Saturday morning to help us count loons!

Following the Loon Census, we hosted our 43rd Annual Loon Festival! Throughout the course of the day, over 300 people attended the festival to learn more about loons and participate in our activities. Many thanks to all who made the Loon Festival such a success, including: the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, who taught attendees about owls, bats, and turtles; NH LAKES, who taught about lake ecosystems; the Meredith Rotary Club, who cooked up and served up over 250 hotdogs to festival attendees; the Sweet Bloods musical duo, who provided live music; Olivia Tatro, who made wonderful balloon animals for festival attendees, former LPC Field Biologist Emily Landry, who provided face painting; and the many LPC staff members and volunteers who assisted with kids crafts, took shifts in the dunk tank, provided loon presentations, and helped with other festival-related tasks. We had a great time and can't wait for next year!
Former LPC Field Biologist, Emily Landry, paints the face of a young festival attendee.
Loon-themed crafts are a staple of the Loon Festival!
LPC Conservation Intern, Amanda Gabryzsak, is all smiles after being dunked in the dunk tank.
LPC at Work
In July, loons continued to nest and hatch throughout New Hampshire, and LPC staff remained busy with surveys, sign floating and retrieving, banding, and rescues. Check the photos below for a snapshot of what we got up to last month!
LPC Conservation Intern (and Veterinary Student at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University) Amanda Gabryzsak examines a rescued loon chick. This chick was transferred to the care of wildlife rehabilitator Kappy Sprenger after rescue.
Lakes Region East Biologist, Emma Purinton, floats rope line to protect loons nesting at a vulnerable site.
North Country Biologist, Jack Fogarty, collects eggshell fragments from a nest that hatched two chicks on First Connecticut Lake.
Lakes Region West biologist, Jayden Jech, draws blood from a loon rescued on Round Pond in Pittsburg. Sadly, this loon's blood tested high for lead and an X-ray showed tackle in his gizzard. Unfortunately, he did not survive and became New Hampshire's third lead tackle mortality of 2022.
Loon Cam 2 Hatch!
On July 13th and 14th, chicks hatched on LPC's second Live Loon Cam of 2022! If you missed the hatch, you can catch up by watching the videos below. And be sure to check below the Loon Cam 2 recap for an update on the family from Loon Cam 1!
July 13th was a stormy day in the Lakes Region, and our Loon Cam 2 nest was right in the heart of it! But the female loon of the Loon Cam 2 pair did not seem phased at all by the strong winds and pouring rain!She remained steadfastly on the nest, shielding the one chick that had already hatched from the elements.
Both eggs had hatched by July 14th, however the next couple of days were far from smooth sailing for our loon family. First, the male loon seemingly abandoned the first-hatched chick about 300 feet from the nest for several hours. Once the family was reunited, the drama did not end. An intruding loon entered the nest cove and engaged in a prolonged fight with the male of the pair. The Loon Cam 2 male eventually succeeded in kicking the intruder out of the nesting area, but he then disappeared from view of the camera for several hours while the female stayed around the nest with the chicks. Reports from LPC volunteers confirmed that the male was continuing to fight with the intruder in the next cove over on the lake. *NOTE*: The video below shows a territorial fight between the Loon Cam 2 male and the intruding loon. Some may find this distressing to watch.
After the male returned, the drama still wasn't over. The family remained in the nesting area, where the camera captured one of the parents being swooped at by an eagle. Thankfully, the loon was able to evade the attack, and the eagle left the areal
Eventually, the loons left the nest area and moved over to their brooding area (a protected part of the lake with plenty of small fish to feed their chicks). Sadly, one of the chicks was lost within a week of the hatch. But the other chick is still around and is doing well under the care of its parents!
In other Loon Cam news, the loon family from Loon Cam 1 is doing very well! Both chicks are still surviving and are now approaching 9 weeks of age. The photos below were taken during the Loon Census on July 16th and show the Loon Cam 1 female and chicks.
Photo courtesy of Anita Fuchs and Kimberly Ziegele.
Loon Fact of the Month
Last month's E-Newsletter detailed loon chick development from hatch time through their fourth week of life. This month, we'll discuss what chicks look like and are able to do from week 5 through week 12, which is generally considered fledging age for a loon chick.
A 5 week old loon chick. Photo courtesy of Brian Reilly.
At 5 weeks, loon chicks start to look a bit unkempt as they begin to develop their juvenile feathers. At this age, they are able to capture small prey items for themselves; however, they remain dependent on their parents to provide the majority of their diet.
A 6 to 7 week old chick. Photo courtesy of Brian Reilly.
Through weeks 6 and 7, chicks continue to lose their down and grow in their juvenile feathers. At this age, the adults may begin leaving the chicks alone on the water for more extended periods of time, but at least one parent typically remains aware of the chicks' location and monitors for signs of danger.
An 8-9 week old loon chick. Photo courtesy of Brian Reilly.
At 8–9 weeks old, the growth of the chicks' feet and legs begins to slow. At this age, they have fully developed their juvenile plumage, which allows them to compress air out of the spaces between feathers in order to dive more efficiently. Chicks can forage independently for about 50% of their own food. This is the time when chicks typically begin to exercise their wing muscles in preparation for flight.
A 10-11 week old loon chick. Photo courtesy of Brian Reilly.
From 10-11 weeks, loon chicks continue to exercise their wing muscles in preparation for flight and may start to practice takeoff. Chicks can provide much of their own food at this age; however, they will still beg for and accept food from their parents.
A 12 week old loon chick. Photo courtesy of Brian Reilly.
At 12 weeks, loon chicks are considered to be of fledging age. They can catch and eat fish similar in size to those eaten by adults, and they can provide 100% of their own food (though many will continue to beg their parents for food!). They may take their first flight. The parents may migrate for the ocean at this point—typically one parent will leave first, and the second parent will remain with the chick(s) for another week or two before also leaving. Chicks tend to migrate 1–3 weeks after their parents, though some remain on lakes into early winter.
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.