The common loon is referred to by the state Department of Environmental Conservation as the “spirit of the northern waters.” Here in the Adirondacks, you can find images of loons seemingly everywhere, from T-shirts to coffee mugs to throw pillows.
The birds are revered as the spirit of the wilderness. But there was a time when they were hunted. » Continue Reading.
With its black and white markings, haunting call, and bright red eyes, the Common Loon is one the most recognizable animals in the Adirondacks. As a top aquatic predator, the loon is also an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. This year marks the 17th annual Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Loon Census, which has helped track environmental toxins, disease, climate change, and habitat loss by monitoring these iconic birds.
Though Saturday’s Loon Census is organized by WCS, the organization relies on volunteer citizen scientists to help with field work. Individuals are encouraged to sign up to monitor a specific lake by canoe or by foot to count the loons and chicks on July 15 between 8-9 am. This event, as with other Citizen Scientist projects, puts important data in front of scientists while allowing participants to learn more about loons. » Continue Reading.
On Wednesday, December 21, volunteers and staff from BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation rescued a loon that had become iced-in on a pond in the northern Adirondacks.
The roughly three-year-old bird was contained in a small area of open water on Follensby Clear Pond near Upper Saranac Lake. The ice was an estimated five inches thick, and the bird had become trapped while it waited for its winter flight feathers to grow in. The bird had kept the water open through its movements. » Continue Reading.
The Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has launched a fundraising campaign at AdirondackGives.org to support the development of educational exhibits at its new Adirondack Loon Center in Saranac Lake. The Center opened in July, 2016 in the historic Tousley Storage Building, a revitalized storefront at 47 Main Street, and shares space with the new Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System. » Continue Reading.
Biodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI’s) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has invited the public to attend an Open House from 4-6 pm on Sunday, October 9, at the new Adirondack Loon Center at 47 Main St. in Saranac Lake. The Open House will be an opportunity for people to meet the staff of the Loon Center, and ask their most compelling loon questions. Refreshments will be served.
The Center houses a gift shop focused on loon-related items, from comical rubber loons to beautiful artwork and jewelry by Adirondack artisans. It also provides office space for the Center’s growing staff, including Audrey Hyson, store manager; Mike Lynch, communications specialist; Tim Flannery, store assistant; intern Kevin Williams; as well as Nina Schoch, the Loon Center’s coordinator and Martha Van der Voort, its education/outreach coordinator. » Continue Reading.
Two Adirondack organizations have come together to form the Adirondack Loon and Trails Center in Saranac Lake.
The center is combined effort between Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and Adirondack Hamlet to Huts, the new initiative to connect trail systems to lodging in communities. The organizations recently had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the center’s opening.
The loon program has been in existence for years under director Nina Schoch, who has operated out of her home in Ray Brook. The program has conducted extensive research projects on mercury and led educational campaigns to protect loons from the dangers of lead fishing tackle, among other things. » Continue Reading.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program has announced a call for volunteers to help census loons on Adirondack lakes as part of the 16th Annual Adirondack Loon Census taking place from 8 – 9 am on Saturday, July 16.
With the help of local Adirondack residents and visitor volunteers, the census enables WCS to collect important data on the status of the breeding loon population in and around the Adirondack Park and across New York State. The results help guide management decisions and policies affecting loons.
Census volunteers report on the number of adult and immature loons and loon chicks that they observe during the hour-long census. Similar loon censuses will be conducted in other states throughout the Northeast simultaneously, and inform a regional overview of the population’s current status. » Continue Reading.
A loon trapped on a golf course in the northern Adirondacks got a helping hand from rescuers last week.
Nina Schoch, director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, said stormy weather during the night of Sunday, May 15, grounded the bird on the Saranac Inn Golf Club property, which is located northwest of Saranac Lake near the St. Regis Canoe Area. Areas of the northern Adirondacks experienced snow and high winds that night. » Continue Reading.
When I was a child, I looked forward to spending summers with my grandmother at our family cottage on a Canadian lake. Every year, as soon as I was out of the car, we would run to the point to look and listen for loons.
As an adult, I still watch loons. But it wasn’t until this past fall, when the loons began to migrate, that it occurred to me that I had no idea where they were going.
According to Eric Hanson, a conservation biologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, the common loon, Gavia immer, makes its way east from our region, out into the New England coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Some adults might leave their breeding lake in September, but usually to a nearby lake at this time. The bulk of adults migrate to the ocean in October, while chicks usually remain until early November. By some instinct, juveniles find their way to the ocean without the guidance of adults. » Continue Reading.
In the first week of January, as the weather turned to full-blown winter almost overnight, Biodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI’s) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation facilitated five successful loon rescues in the Adirondack Park.
Three loons were “iced-in” when their lakes froze over, one was blown down by a storm onto a road and could not take off, and one was trapped due to fishing line entanglement. All loons have since been released on open waters. » Continue Reading.
The Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation is raising funds for an Adirondack Loon Center in the Tri-Lakes Area. Dr. Nina Schoch, Coordinator of BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, believes a physical Loon Center will strengthen and expand her organization’s capacity to conduct its scientific research, education, and outreach. Schoch expects the Adirondack Loon Center will be a year-round educational and economic presence.
Plans for the Center include office space for staff; an education and outreach area for visitors, with interactive displays about loon natural history, behavior, and conservation; a conference room for educational and training programs; and a gift shop selling loon-related items to support local artisans and the Loon Center itself. » Continue Reading.
There is really nothing common about the Adirondack Common Loon. The large aquatic birds can be found on many Adirondack lakes and ponds. We watch them dive at one end of a lake and appear at the other end in a matter of moments. This ability to quickly dive without a splash allows them to catch their fishy meals with ease. It is not often that we’ve been on a lake and heard the loon’s mournful cry.
The loons’ eerie call range from its high-pitched tremolo, yodel, hoot and yell. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times my family spies a majestic loon’s familiar black and white patterned back; we are still in awe of its beauty. » Continue Reading.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program is looking for volunteers to help with its annual Adirondack Loon Census, which takes place on Saturday, July 18.
Volunteers are asked to visit ponds and lakes on that Saturday from 8 to 9 am and count the number of adult and immature loons they see.
Loons generally arrive for the summer breeding season in May. Their young birds hatch from eggs in late June and early July during the first round of breeding. Loons can also lay eggs later in the summer during a second round. » Continue Reading.
Biodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI’s) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation will host the 2014 Adirondack Loon Celebration on Sunday, October 12th (Columbus Day weekend) at Riverside Park and Harrietstown Hall in Saranac Lake.
The celebration will include a Loon calling and Loon costume contests; presentations about loon natural history and Adirondack loon conservation programs; live concerts by Adirondack folksingers Jamie Savage and Roy Hurd; a field trip to observe loon behavior first-hand (9a.m., pre-registration and fee required); performances by ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher and Merriloons the Clown; the 2014 Adirondack Loon Quilt Raffle; and a special appetizer/dessert reception and silent auction. » Continue Reading.
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