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                               e-Newsletter Vol. 15
In This Issue
Birdathon/Bloomathon: Another Record Year
Massachusetts Loon Population
2012 Lakes Congress
Upcoming Events
Sunday, June 10; 11:30 am - 3:00 pm @
Church Landing, Meredith

Fridays, June 15 - August 24; 3 pm

July 5 - August 23; 7:30 pm @ The Loon Center

Friday, July 13;
9:00 am launch from Lees Mills area on Winnipesaukee
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Loon turning eggs
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Contact Us 
P.O. Box 604
183 Lee's Mill Road
Moultonborough, NH 03254



First off I'd like to echo Harry's thanks to everyone who contacted Senators, F&G Commissioners and House Representatives in support of SB 224.  As Harry mentioned we will continue to be an active participant in the study committee process and will continue to encourage responsible actions that protect loons and other wildlife from lead fishing tackle.  We are currently working with several lake associations to host a "Lead Collection Day" during the summer where anglers can dispose of old lead tackle.  A few associations have also purchased non-lead tackle to distribute to anglers at their launch sites.  If you would like to discuss these options further please don't hesitate to contact me.


The 2012 field season officially got underway last week.  Six of our eight field biologists have returned for another season and we welcome two new biologists covering the North Country and the southern part of the Monadnock Region.  If you see a field biologist on your lake make sure to say hello!


For the first time in several years the loon pair from Hemlock Point (Lees Mills) is using the raft that LPC deploys and it is visible from our trail.  Make sure to visit The Loon Center in the next few weeks to see a loon on a nest!  While there you can also visit our gift shop for "all things loon."


It seems like many loon pairs have gotten off to an early start this season, which was not a huge surprise considering the record early ice-out this spring.  Here's hoping for another productive season!  If you love watching loons and would like to volunteer for LPC, send me an email at  You can also download an observation log from our website-


Lastly, there are still seats available for our Summer Luncheon & Benefit Auction which will be held on Sunday, June 10 at Church Landing in Meredith, NH.  Call LPC to reserve your seats today!


I hope you have a wonderful weekend,



Another Record Year for the Annual Birdathon/Bloomathon to Benefit LPC


It was another record year for the Tamworth area Birdathon/Bloomathon team with 125 species of birds and 79 species of wild blooms identified on Saturday, May 19.  Due to the warm spring this year teams missed some early blooms like Trout Lily but were treated to later-spring blooms that they don't often see including yellow hawkweed and daisy and Bird's-foot Trefoil.  Pitcher Plant and Dragon's-mouth Orchid were also found in Moultonborough, firsts for the B/B list!  


Early in the morning one participant was woken up by a Barred Owl and Whip-poor-will to start off his day.  In the pine barrens in western Madison, an Eastern Towhee, Prairie Warbler, Field Sparrow, Merlin and Fish Crow all made an appearance (or were at least heard).  Other bird species included a Marsh Wren, Virginia Rail, American Bittern, Saw-whet Owl, Bank Swallow and Vesper Sparrow.  The end of the day brought reports from the lake and the mountain, respectively: White-winged Scoter, Ring-billed Gull, Bald Eagle, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Loon, White-winged Crossbill, Bicknell's and Swainson's Thrushes, Boreal Chickadee and Peregrine Falcon from the top of the Sandwich Dome.   


This year's total was a record 204 species.  The Tamworth Area B/B Team consisted of: Tony Vazzano, Lynne Route, Bob Ridgely, Jane Rice, John Mersfelder (RS Hawk!), Tiffany Grade, John Cooley, Chris Clyne and Ned Beecher.  Thanks to everyone who donated or pledged in support of conservation in central New Hampshire.


To see a full list of the spring wildflowers, click here

For a full list of the bird species, click here 


Summary information provided by Ned Beecher

Understanding the Massachusetts Loon Population
By Vincent Spagnuolo, 2009-2010 Winnipesaukee Field Biologist


Using knowledge and skills learned at LPC, I recently finished my masters thesis in assessing the Massachusetts loon population. While working at the LPC in 2009 and 2010, I learned of the research potential of the understudied Massachusetts population and began devising my thesis project.


The Massachusetts population has been monitored since 1975 when a single pair recolonized the Quabbin Reservoir after state-wide extirpation in 1872. Since then, the population has grown to 33 pairs which are largely found on the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs, as well as a number of smaller lakes in northern Worcester County.


Quabbin & Wachusett Reservoirs


My thesis assessed both population and habitat data, while working that data into some habitat and population models. An in-depth analysis of the available Massachusetts data (similar in nature to the data collected by the LPC) had never been undertaken before. In order to more fully understand the extent of the population and available habitat, I completed a season of surveying lakes across the state. These surveys, which looked at lakes outside of the known population, resulted in eight additional lakes with loon presence including, one immature, six unpaired adults, and one territorial pair.


With this new data rounding out the 1975 - 2011 data set I had aggregated from different agencies involved in loon work over the years, I set about analyzing the population in terms of growth dynamics, demographic rates, and management impacts. The results of this analysis were then compared to the New Hampshire population as a benchmark for population dynamics and expansion to date, as well as growth potential going forward. Essentially from 1983 to present the Massachusetts population has had similar demographic rates, highlighted by a period of high productivity in the late 80s and early 90s, but also a recent decline in overall productivity. Much like New Hampshire, some lakes and territories have been more productive than others through time, specifically the Wachusett and Quabbin Reservoirs. The fact that Massachusetts started with 1 pair in 1975 compared to nearly 70 in New Hampshire, makes a direct comparison a little tougher, but did allow for some interesting findings. Massachusetts has and may still be suffering from a small population paradigm, and therefore has witnessed large fluctuations in demographic rates.


MA Loon Population


The Massachusetts landscape was also assessed by adapting two models developed in New Hampshire. Inspired by LPC's own carrying capacity estimate, an upward bound to population growth in Massachusetts was estimated using basic lake and landscape characteristics to be ~300 pairs. With the assistance of Anne Kuhn of the EPA's Atlantic Ecology Division, her loon habitat suitability model that was developed using NH data was simplified and applied to the Massachusetts landscape. As expected, loons in Massachusetts are generally choosing higher quality habitat as they expand, but are still strongly influenced by proximity to other loons. This is exemplified by the clustering seen in the Massachusetts population. Lastly, the Massachusetts population was modeled using the population viability analysis software VORTEX in order to determine the long-term viability of the population as well as the influence of increased or additional management actions.


Through this study, I was able to conclude that a large-scale recovery, similar to the one seen in New Hampshire, is possible, especially with increased and additional management. This is largely due to an abundance of suitable habitat, highly successful territories, likely dispersal of loons from NH/VT as those populations increase, and a large degree of management potential in the form of increased nest raft deployment and roping and signing nesting/brooding areas.


I am continuing my work this summer doing state-wide surveys and assisting MassWildlife and the Department of Conservation and Recreation with their loon management work. I would like to thank Harry Vogel and John Cooley and everyone else at LPC for providing such amazing training and work experiences to students entering the conservation world.


I can be reached at and I am always interested in knowing about any loon sightings in Massachusetts!


NH LAKES 2012 Lakes Congress
By Andrea LaMoreaux


You are cordially invited to attend the 2012 Lakes Congress! This annual educational and networking event, hosted by the New Hampshire Lakes Association, will be held on Friday, June 22, at beautiful Church Landing overlooking Meredith Bay. The theme is "Loving Our Lakes."


It will be a terrific day! We are particularly excited about the opening plenary session as Darby Nelson, author, ecologist, and professor emeritus will talk about the paradox between lakes and people, and Tom Burack, Commissioner of the NH Department of Environmental Services will talk about the past, present, and future of New Hampshire's lakes.  LPC Executive Director Harry Vogel will also be talking about the effects of lead fishing tackle on loons in NH.  In addition, there will be 14 informational sessions to choose from and more than 15 exhibitors at the event to talk with you about lake and watershed management questions and needs.


For more information about the 2012 Lakes Congress and to register, click here.


Hope to see you there!


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