Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Loons Blown Down in Recent Windstorm

2013-NS RTLO Rls-9412-tAt least one Common Loon and four Red-throated Loons were blown down in a windstorm on Sunday, November 24th. The Biodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation received its first call Sunday afternoon concerning a Red-throated Loon that was in the Catamount Mountain parking lot, which was brought to the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehab Center. A second Red-throated Loon was found at Mt. Van Hoevenberg the following morning. Then a third loon was found up by Mountain View Lake and a fourth in the Old Forge area. And finally, a Common Loon was found on a road in the Glens Falls area.

Red-throated Loons breed in Canada and Alaska. They are much smaller birds than the Common Loons that summer here in the Adirondack Park. They must have been migrating to the coast for the winter when they encountered the strong winds on Sunday and got blown down.

The Common Loon was released on the Hudson River and one of the Red-throated Loons was released on Lake Champlain. Another Red-throated Loon was able to get airborne again on its own by running on the snow. Unfortunately, the remaining two birds had sustained severe injuries and had to be euthanized.

BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation had the help of Steve Maynard, ECO Kevin Riggs, High Peaks Animal Hospital, the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehab Center, Dr. Katherine Donis, North Country Wild Care, the Glens Falls Animal Hospital, Gary Lee, and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Unit.

Photo:  Nina Schoch holds the Red-throated Loon released on Lake Champlain.

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Dr. Nina Schoch is a wildlife veterinarian with Biodiversity Research Institute of Gorham, Maine, and coordinates BRI's Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. She has a veterinary degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, a master’s degree in Natural Resources/Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Biology-Behavioral Ecology from Cornell University.Dr. Schoch practiced small animal medicine in New York’s Adirondack Park from 1991-2002, is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and enjoys wildlife photography, paddling, cross-country skiing, quilting, and knitting.

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