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                                                    e-Newsletter Vol. 24
In This Issue
Species Profile: Red-throated Loon
Holiday Open House

Upcoming Events

Nov 21; 7:00 pm
at The Loon Center
Nov. 30; 10-2
at The Loon Center
Fall photos by Brian Reilly
What is that loon doing?
Have you ever witnessed odd behavior that made you think a loon was in distress?
Click here to learn more about preening & bathing.
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P.O. Box 604
Lee's Mill Road
Moultonborough, NH 03254
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Happy Halloween!  I can't believe that tomorrow is the first of November.  We have been working hard on our fall newsletter which will include a full report on the 2013 field season and a summary of the events that LPC has hosted this year.  There is one more big event still to come in 2013-our Holiday Open House.  See below for more information.


Did you know that there are 5 species of loons in North America?  I realized that I don't know very much about the other four species, so I decided to highlight each one in upcoming newsletters.  In this issue I am going to start with the Red-throated Loon, as it is sometimes seen at this time of year passing through New Hampshire.  Scroll down to learn more about this arctic-breeding species.


It's not too late to purchase raffle tickets for your chance to win a beautiful loon quilt, a loon decoy or an Old Town kayak.  Click here for more information on the raffle items or call LPC at 603-476-5666.  The drawing will be held at our Holiday Open House on November 30.


If I am not in touch again before Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful celebration!


All the best,



Species Profile: Red-throated Loon


The Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) is the smallest of the loon species, weighing between 2-5 pounds.  During the breeding season, they are easily identified by the gray head and neck and deep red throat patch.  Unlike other loon species, Red-throated Loons have primarily dark backs while breeding, with white spots more visible in the winter (see photo below).  Their bills are thinner than other loon species and often tilted upward. 

Photo of Red-throated Loon in winter plumage by Reigh Higgins

Unlike Common Loons who need a long runway to take flight, Red-throated Loons can take off directly from land. They breed in the Arctic, usually on remote ponds, but travel to foraging grounds away from the breeding territory. After feeding themselves, they carry single fish back to their chicks.  This is a behavior only rarely documented in Common Loons, but it has been witnessed by John Rockwood right here in New Hampshire on Millen Pond in the town of Washington. 


Females usually lay two eggs and both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs. However, they do not carry their chicks on their backs.  The Arctic Fox is the main predator of eggs, but other predators of eggs and chicks include several avian species such as the Parasitic Jaeger, Herring Gull and Glaucous Gull, to name a few. Fledglings and adults travel to the ocean together, but then disperse usually within a week of their arrival.


Red-throated Loons have a total of nine calls, but unlike the other loon species males do not yodel.  Instead, both the male & female join each other in a territorial duet, which is similar to the yodel of the male Common Loon in terms of structure and meaning.  


Populations have declined in recent years, but the cause is still unknown.  Red-throated loons are susceptible to oil spills and habitat loss, but unfortunately many band recoveries have come from mortalities due to entanglement in fishing nets.


Stay tuned for the next e-newsletter to learn more about Pacific Loons!                              


* Information for this article was summarized from the Birds of North America Online Species Account.

HOH2013LPC's Holiday Open House is Right Around the Corner!                           


Photo by Tiffany Grade

Save the date for our 21st annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, November 30 from 10 am - 2 pm.  Join us for horse-drawn hay rides, balloon creations by Mo the Clown, face painting by Stacey, holiday crafts, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center discovery table, free food and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Admission is free. We 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
Loon Preservation Committee