Resting Loon


                                                    e-Newsletter Vol. 11
In This Issue
A Loon Legacy on Lake Umbagog
2011 Preliminary Results

Upcoming Events

September 22, 2011
7:30 pm at The Loon Center  
November 26, 2011
10 am - 2 pm
Did You Know?
Loons migrate independently of each other (i.e mates and family units do not stay together).  
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Photo by Kittie Wilson
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P.O. Box 604
Lee's Mill Road
Moultonborough, NH 03254
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First off, I'd like to extend our best wishes to anyone who has been affected by Hurricane Irene or other recent storms.   


Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Carl R. Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament in the pouring rain!  Congratulations to the 1st place team: Garrett Plifka, Justin Diom, Tara Reardon and Stan Plifka (pictured below)! Members of the 2nd place team included Brent Leighton, Brad Leighton, John Stevens and Nick Leighton and the 3rd place team included Jerry O'Donnell, Tom Crane, Chip Broadhurst and Tom Beach.  First Place TeamWe would also like to thank the prime sponsors and hole sponsors for their support.  Lastly, thanks to Paugus Bay Marine for donating the hole-in-one boat and other prizes.  Unfortunately nobody won the boat--maybe next year!!





We had a great turnout at both Volunteer Appreciation Potluck dinners.  Thanks to everyone for coming!  LPC Potluck

We hope to make this an annual event and would like to have one eventually in each monitoring region.  If you know of a good venue or would like to host a potluck at your house, please let me know.


Following the 2011 Loon Season Report, we honored Wendy Van de Poll with the "Spirit of the Loon Award."  This award, created to honor the 100th birthday of LPC's founder, Rawson Wood, is given to an individual who exemplifies outstanding volunteer service to loons and to LPC. In the summer of 2006, Wendy decided to swim the length of Squam Lake (7 miles) by herself to raise money for Squam Lake Loons.  Since then she has recruited others to swim with her during this highly anticipated event each August.  To date, the 2011 Squam Swim has raised $17,625 which goes towards the Squam Lake Loon Initiative.  Wendy has raised awareness of issues facing loons on Squam Lake and her dedication to loons and LPC is truly amazing!

2011 Swim Team




2011 Swim Team (including captain & spotters): Front row (L-R): Rose de Mars, Blair Newcomb, Wendy Van de Poll, Jacob Jason, Tiffany Grade; Back row (L-R): Mark Longly, Dale Lary, Rick Van de Poll, Sara Prouty, Bill Scott.




Here's to a wonderful fall season!


All the best,



A Loon Legacy on Lake Umbagog
By Michael O'Brien, 2011 Winnipesaukee Field Biologist 


On August 11, my last morning on Lake Umbagog, I motored down the Magalloway and Androscoggin Rivers toward Harper's Meadow with a purpose - to confirm or deny the continued presence of the 1993 Sweat's Meadow female, the oldest New England loon on record. Since 1993, this loon has maintained a distinct territory in either Sweat's or Harper's Meadow, two adjacent territories along the Androscoggin River in Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. Due to her age, and consistency, she is a bit of a legend. In the previous weeks, I had been able to confirm the band combinations for her mate, but only acquired the right leg bands from the female, which matched the 1993 Sweat's Meadow loon. I was hoping, in the last two or three hours of the field season, to finally match the left leg as well.


I arrived just outside Harper's Meadow at 8:45 AM, and was excited to see the pair resting in the river channel. I quickly set up my scope and waited. After about 20 minutes, both loons began swimming upriver, past my location. I focused in on the smaller loon - the female - and saw a flash of yellow on the left leg. Great! This matches the 1993 Sweat's Meadow loon! But, I also needed to confirm the second, lower band on the left leg, and I couldn't distinguish the color through the water. I needed that leg out in the open, so I waited for her to begin preening, or give me a nice foot waggle. After what seemed to be an eternity, she finally complied. She stretched her right leg, which I had previously observed and matched to the 1993 Sweat's Meadow loon, and then, minutes later, out came the left leg. Yellow over white! Both legs matched! In the last hour of the field season, I had finally confirmed her return. The oldest loon in New England was on Umbagog once again. For the last time this season I motored back up the Magalloway River to dock my boat - with a huge smile on my face.


2011 Preliminary Results

Overall 2011 seemed to be a good year for loons in New Hampshire.  Approximately 65% of the 270 territorial pairs nested on lakes and ponds throughout the state, hatching 185 chicks. This is the first time in 6 years that we have gone above 0.48 CS/TP which is the level needed to maintain a viable population for the long-term! 

 2011 Graph

We floated a record number of rafts this year (76); approximately 21% of chicks hatched from these managed sites.  We also protected 77 nest sites with floating signs.  LPC staff, along with help from our colleagues at BRI, captured 20 adults (9 new birds, 11 recaptures) during 10 nights of banding. 


Even though these numbers are encouraging, our loon population is not out of the woods yet.  Continued management and outreach is critical to protect these birds.  Adult survival is also key to maintaining a sustainable population.


Again, the results mentioned above are preliminary findings.  For a detailed report of the 2011 season, please see LPC's Fall Newsletter which will be out in November.  Thanks again to all of our volunteers for helping us monitor loons across the state!

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



Save 20%

Get a head start on your holiday shopping at The Loon's Feather Gift Shop, located at The Loon Center in Moultonborough, NH.  Long sleeve t-shirts just arrived and new fleece jackets will arrive next week!  Bring in your coupon and receive 20% off any non-sale item (sorry, this does not include items on consignment).


You can also visit our gift shop online (coupon does not apply to online purchases).