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e-Newsletter Vol. 58
In This Issue
Another Banded Loon on the Maine Coast!

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Well, April certainly came in with a bang, after a snowstorm dropped more than a foot of snow in many parts of NH.  This was not an April Fools joke!  Luckily at this time of year we know the snow is not here to stay (and I was happy to have one more day on the "magic carpet" with my 4-year old!).    

Many newsworthy things have happened since I sent out the last e-newsletter, the first one being, of course, the return of loons to many lakes throughout the state!  Hooray!  An avid birder reported a loon sighting on Lake Sunapee on April 6, and then a photo from Lake Massabesic confirmed the return of a banded pair there (see below).  Since then, reports have come in almost daily.  Ice-out was officially declared on Lake Winnipesaukee on April 17 at 8:31 am.  It's the 7th time ice-out has been declared on that date in more than 130 years!   
This female loon from Lake Massabesic is showing off her "jewelry."  These bands help us learn more about loon survival and mate & site fidelity.  Photo courtesy of John Rockwood. 
This male loon, also banded, is making sure his neighbors know his territory is taken.  This is the standard posture a male loon will take when he yodels.  Photo courtesy of John Rockwood. 

Continuing on the topic of banded loons, a second banded loon was observed (and photographed) in Biddeford Pool, Maine, by Kittie & John Wilson.  It can be challenging to spot bands on a calm lake, but, on the ocean, that is amazing!  See below to learn more about where this loon was banded and to see some pictures.

The new webcam is still at the test site--look what it caught on camera on April 12!  Some loons really do return to their lake as soon as there's just enough open water to land!  I cannot wait for our webcam to go live in another month or so!  If you want to catch up on highlights from the 2016 season click here.  Special thanks to Bill Gassman for testing out our new camera so it's ready to go!

The little speck in the middle is a loon that had just returned to Lake Winnipesaukee on April 12.  There's barely enough open water to land, but it's ready to be back on its territory! 

We'd also like to send a huge thank you to the 13 dedicated volunteers that came to The Loon Center for a chilly and damp Spring Work Day on April 21.  They built 5 rafts and 4 new signs which will help protect nesting loons!
Volunteers Terri & Bud Lynch and Warren Fleck attach support bars to the bottom of a raft. 
The 2017 Spring Work Day crew (minus a few) with one of the completed rafts. 

Don't forget to mark your calendar for our Summer Luncheon & Benefit Auction on June 4 at Bald Peak Colony Club.  Former LPC Director, Jeff Fair will entertain us with tales of loons and Alaska's McNeil River Brown Bears!  Click here to download a payment/registration form.  We hope to see you there!

Happy Spring, and enjoy the returning loons!

All the best, 

Another Banded Loon Spotted on the Maine Coast.

Sometimes you don't realize exactly what you are seeing until you are back home going through photos taken over the winter.  This was the case when Kittie Wilson realized that she photographed a second banded loon in Biddeford Pool, Maine.  You can only imagine the excitement in the office when we got word of this--we just don't get reports of banded loons on the ocean that often!  We have all been enjoying her pictures from Biddeford Pool of the female from Mooselookmeguntic Lake for the last 4 years, and now she found another banded loon there!  Kittie had a clear view of the left leg when the loon was preening, but only got a quick glimpse of blue on the other leg.  Would that be enough to identify this loon?  YES!  We checked with our colleagues at Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) who manage the banding database for Maine and learned that this female loon was banded as an adult on Azischohos Lake on July 13, 2016.  Azischohos Lake is in Maine approximately 15 miles north of Lake Umbagog (as the loon flies).  It will be neat to hear if she returns to the lake this summer to breed.
  Another banded loon is photographed on February 18 in Biddeford Pool, Maine.  Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson.  
In the picture below, you can just barely see a flash of blue under the water on her right leg.
Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson 

She was spotted again on March 25 with newly molted flight feathers, but still has a ways to go before her molt is complete.
The banded loon from Azichohos Lake swimming in Biddeford Pool, just off of Saco Bay. Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson. 

On their final visit to "The Pool" on April 15, Kittie & John Wilson spotted two loons that they have been watching all winter.  The other female loon, banded on Mooselookmeguntic Lake, was still present, probably waiting for the last few feathers to grow in.  I guess the term "salt and pepper" can be applied to more than just humans!
Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson. 

It will be so interesting to see if both of these banded loons return to Biddeford Pool next year.  We have photographic evidence that at least one of them has returned to the same spot on the ocean four years in a row!   
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.
Susie Burbidge
Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator
Loon Preservation Committee