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.
The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (ACLC) is very pleased to announce it helped save two juvenile loons after they were severely tangled in fishing gear.
The first loon was found Sept. 14 on Trout Lake with a large treble-hook lure that had become ensnared in both its feet. Local residents, Lynne Butterworth and John Rendinaro, reported the loon to Dr. Nina Schoch, Executive Director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, who provided guidance in how to catch the loon. Ellie George, one of the ACLC’s field staff, and her husband, Cal, removed the hooks and lure from the loon’s feet, and then brought the injured bird to Dr. Schoch, who cleaned its wounds, treated it with antibiotics and fluids, and banded it to aid in subsequent observations.
The afternoon of Valentine’s Day, we received a report of 3 loons iced-in a small puddle near the west shore of Lake George, with an eagle sitting on the edge of the ice. Apparently a 4th loon had already met its demise, so it was important to rescue these trapped birds as soon as possible. Being late in the day, it was decided to attempt the rescue the following morning.
That area of the lake had just frozen in the previous week with a couple of days of below-zero temps, so the loons were trapped by quickly forming ice. We’ve had a relatively mild winter, thus some loons had wintered over on Lakes Champlain and George.
At this time of year, loons are molting out of their winter plumage and into their black and white breeding plumage. They also completely lose their flight feathers, so they are flightless for about a month until the new ones grow in. Thus, they can easily become trapped in a small pool of water if the ice forms quickly.
At 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. » Continue Reading.
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