May 2023

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Member A Day in May Membership Drive

Since 2014, the Loon Preservation Committee has held an annual membership drive during the month of May. The goal of the drive is simple: gain at least one new member each day of the month, for a total of 31 or more new members whose support helps us to fund our important work on behalf of loons in New Hampshire. Would you like to help support our work on behalf of loons? Please consider becoming an LPC member, and if you are already a member, please consider spreading the word to friends or family members who may want to join LPC. To learn more about Member a Day in May, and about LPC membership in general, please click here.

All new members during the month of May will be entered in a raffle to win one of four great prizes:

Loon Water Bottle and Reflector:

Stay hydrated and visible on your evening walks. Fill the Camelback Eddy bottle (sporting the LPC logo) with water, clip on the Finnish Reflector featuring a sleek loon design, and you're ready to go!

Loon Mug and Coasters

Enjoy your morning coffee or tea in this cobalt mug with an etched loon, and protect your table with handcrafted coasters displaying a stunning loon photo in calming blue tones.

Hand Painted Loon Tile

This prize combines art and function! The hand painted Besheer Art Tile was produced locally in Bedford, NH. It features a metal loop for hanging and cork feet for protecting your table when using as a trivet.

Claire de Loon Pillow

You can never have too many pillows! This 16" square pillow is hand sewn cotton poplin in Charley Harper's Claire de Loon Pattern.

In addition to the chance to win one of these prizes, all LPC members receive:

  • Our comprehensive LPC Newsletter two times per year (Summer and Fall)
  • LPC'S E-Newsletter, sent to your inbox monthly
  • Invitations to LPC's special events throughout the year
  • A membership decal
  • A 10% discount on all merchandise from The Loon's Feather Gift Shop
  • Most importantly, you receive the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to preserve the haunting call of the loon on New Hampshire's lakes and ponds.
LPC News & Events

Educational Events

This spring and summer, LPC staff will be giving a number of educational events throughout New Hampshire to teach about loons. These will include power point presentations given at libraries and other community hubs, guided paddling trips, a few guided boat tours with partner organizations, and more! Many of these events are already listed on our website, but more will be added in the coming weeks. The best way to keep up with our events is to check our events calendar—you can even subscribe to the calendar so that you don't miss an event!

LPC at Work

On April 15th, LPC participated in New Hampshire Fish and Game's annual Discover Wild New Hampshire Day event. At our table, we collected hundreds of pieces of fishing tackle that are illegal to use in freshwater in NH (lead sinkers and lead-headed jigs weighing 1 oz. or less). We also gave out hundreds of packets of loon-safe, non-lead tackle and had the opportunity to speak with anglers, members of the public, and staff and volunteers from other wildlife and conservation organizations. Thanks to NH Fish and Game for having us and to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire for sponsoring the event. We can't wait to be back next year!

On Earth Day, LPC was joined by students from Moultonborough Academy to celebrate the holiday by helping us with a number of important tasks. Younger students helped get the grounds and trails at the Loon Center ready for summer visitors by raking, clearing up fallen tree branches, and walking the trails to help us find any areas that need maintenance. Older students helped us to prepare for raft and sign building by peeling bark off of cedar logs, creating avian predation covers that will go on this year's fleet of new rafts, and filling buckets with loam and other materials that will be used to create nest bowls on the rafts that we float this year. Many thanks to all of the Moultonborough Academy students and staff who volunteered their time!

Moultonborough Academy staff and students shovel buckets of nest material (left), de-bark cedar logs to be used in raft building (middle) and prepare materials for raft covers (right).

On April 22nd, a number of volunteers came to the Loon Center to participate in our annual Raft Building Workshop. With their help, we were able to build 5 new loon nest rafts, which will be floated throughout the state this year on lakes that have been experiencing low reproductive success due to problems that rafts can solve (water level fluctuations, etc.). We so appreciate everyone who volunteered their time to help New Hampshire's loons!

LPC Volunteers construct a nest raft at the 2023 Raft Building Workshop. Photo courtesy of Bernie Volz.

Loon Center Volunteers Wanted!

Did you know that there is another way you can help loons? The Loon Center is seeking volunteers that would like to help in the Gift shop for four hour periods, one or two days a week. This work would include restocking, greeting guests, light housekeeping, and working with the LPC staff on a variety of tasks that may arise. If you are interested, please contact us at [email protected], call us at 603-476-5666, or stop by The Loon Center for more information!

Loon Fact of the Month—Body Adaptations

Loons have evolved to be highly specialized for life in the water. They have a number of adaptations that minimize resistance and reduce drag, making them fast and agile when swimming and diving and enabling them to be excellent fishers. Anyone who has seen a loon in the water knows how impressive their swimming ability is—it is not uncommon for a loon to dive and resurface hundreds of feet away from where it was last seen in a short amount of time. What are some of the adaptations that make them so well suited for swimming and diving, and what tradeoffs do these adaptations necessitate?

A common loon foraging on a New Hampshire lake. Video courtesy of John Rockwood.

Unlike most other birds, loons have dense, thick-walled bones. The added weight of these bones helps loons dive deep without having to expend much energy. Loons also have a relatively shallow keel, which helps to minimize drag in the water. Both of these adaptations, while beneficial for life in the water, make it more difficult for loons to fly. A shallow keel means less room for breast muscle attachment, resulting in less power to generate lift. Additionally, their heavy body weight relative to the size of their wings means that loons have to work hard to achieve liftoff—they must run across the surface of the water, flapping all the way, before they are able to take flight. On a calm day, loons may need up to a quarter mile of 'runway' before they are able to take off. When they have a head wind to help them, they are often able to take off in a shorter distance.

Because of their heavy weight relative to the size of their wings, loons have to work hard to take flight. Video courtesy of World of Nature.

The structure and positioning of the loon's legs also help it to be more efficient in the water. Like many other diving birds, the upper portions of a loon's leg (the femur and most of the tibiotarsus) are internal, located within the skin of the abdomen and tucked against the ribs. Only a small portion of a loon's leg (the tarsometatarsus and the foot) is external, and this external portion is positioned very far back on the body. This creates a streamlined body shape that minimizes drag and allows loons to maximize the propulsive force that they get with each kick of their feet. However, this rear foot placement makes loons clumsy and slow on land. When on land, loons are therefore vulnerable to predators, and moving on land requires a lot of energy. As a result, they build their nests close to the water's edge, which can make nests vulnerable to water level fluctuations that may flood or strand them.

 Item of the Month

Looking to add some loon decor to your kitchen? This month, the Loon Pattern Oven Mitt with towels is on sale for 15% off in our store! This oven mitt features a fun loon print and comes with two coordinating waffle cotton kitchen towels. Get yours here!

Clearance Sale!

We currently have a clearance sale going on in our store! While supplies last, select items are on sale for 40–50% off! View our clearance inventory here.

Loon Preservation Committee | 603-476-LOON (5666) |

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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.