e-Newsletter Vol. 52
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Caught on Camera!

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Now that Labor Day weekend has come and gone, we are all probably settling back into our "regular" routine, or at least, as regular as it can be!  For the year-round staff at LPC, that means crunching final numbers from the 2016 season, writing articles for the upcoming fall newsletter, and keeping our fingers crossed that all of the loons leave our lakes before ice-in.  
LPC Volunteer Nan Baker, LPC Trustee & Volunteer Glyn Green and LPC Field Program Coordinator Caroline Hughes enjoy the delicious spread at the Loon Center potluck on August 25. 

We had a wonderful time at the volunteer appreciation potlucks last month.  Nearly 70 volunteers came to share their stories and hear preliminary results from this summer.
If you weren't able to make it to the end of season wrap-up you might be wondering what kind of season we had here in New Hampshire.  In short, it was a decent year, but not as good as 2015.  Preliminary results show a total of 294 territorial pairs this summer, however, only 204 of those pairs actually nested.  Of the 196 chicks that hatched from those nests, approximately 146 were still surviving in mid-August.  We continued our intensive management to help protect nest sites and chicks--9 out of 10 chicks that hatched this summer came from territories that benefitted from some level of management, whether it was a nest raft, signs and ropelines, or outreach to coordinate water level management. Stay tuned for LPC's upcoming Fall Newsletter for a full recap of the 2016 season. 
A surprise visitor on top of a loon raft on Halfmoon Lake!  Photo courtesy of Ric Zaenglein

There are a few events coming up this fall that you don't want to miss.  On October 1, our friends from Bear-Paw Regional Greenways are hosting a benefit concert to raise money to buy a conservation easement on Bennett Island, an important loon nesting territory on Bow Lake (it also supports nesting eagles too).  The concert will be held at the Bow Lake Community Club Grange Hall in Strafford, NH from 3 - 7 pm.  Click here for more information.  Throughout the year, the Lakes Region Chapter of New Hampshire Audubon hosts monthly talks at The Loon Center.  Topics this fall include Cuba, Primeval Forest in NH and Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge.  Save the date for LPC's Holiday Open House on Saturday, November 26 from 10 am - 2 pm.  It's a great event for the whole family--hay rides, face painting, balloon animals, kids crafts and a visit with Santa!   
The horses make their grand entrance at LPC's Holiday Open House.  Photo courtesy of Brian Reilly
Raffle tickets are still on sale, right up to the drawing on November 26.  Take a chance to win one of 3 great prizes: a beautiful loon quilt, a framed loon print or a kayak!  Call LPC at 603-476-5666 to purchase tickets by phone or stop by The Loon Center to buy them in person.  After Columbus Day, we will be open Thursday-Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. 

As September draws on, you will notice the adults starting to turn gray by the base of their bills.  These are the first feathers to molt in the fall, followed by the head and back.  By the time the adults leave the lake for their ocean wintering grounds they may be unrecognizable to some, and it will become harder and harder to distinguish the adults from the chicks.
This photo taken on September 14 shows just beginning of the gray feathers coming in at the base of the bill.  Photo courtesy of Kittie Wilson. 

It's also not uncommmon to see larger groups of loons together at this time of year as the adults socialize and congregate before heading to the ocean.  I think the largest group ever recorded in New Hampshire was
a group of 80 loons on First Connecticut Lake in Pittsburg.  That would be quite a sight!   

I am going to leave you with a "feel-good" story about a Common Goldeneye chick that was adopted by a pair of Common Loons!  It is quite astounding, especially to those of us who have watched loons chase ducks and geese out of their territories.  Never say never, I guess!  

Happy Fall,

Caught on Camera!

We captured a few cool shots of other animals that visited a loon raft on Squam Lake.  Thankfully the loons did not seem to be too concerned about these visitors.  In the top picture a muskrat was caught walking across the camera support beam and then slid into the water without bumping the loon off the nest.

In the photo below, a Great Blue Heron found a nice perch.  I wish I had legs that long!

I'm sure Tiffany (Squam Lakes Project Biologist) will be looking through many, many more pictures over the next few weeks, so if any others stand out, we will be sure to share them with you.
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