Posts Tagged ‘Loons’

Friday, June 21, 2024

Sweltering National Pollinator Week means busy work for butterflies

Polyphemus Moth

This was National Pollinator Week, June 17 – 23, and with the heat we’ve had, the butterflies should be doing their thing. Just last Saturday while traveling to Number Four, the dirt part of the road was covered with both yellow swallowtails and white admirals working things dead in the road, mostly their own kind. Some are feeding on coyote and fox scat as they mark spots along their route. Lots of sphinx moths, which they call hummingbird moths, have been buzzing around in the flowers…and there are lots of flowers for them to feed on.

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Friday, June 14, 2024

Spotting day-old fawn amongst ferns while tending to gardens

Day-old fawn in the grass

Summer came and went away this week, as it was up to near ninety degrees and now back into the fifties. One thing we don’t need is a frost, like the late ones we got last year, which came on May 25 and 26, then close on the 27. By my records, on June 4 and 5 it was 34 and 36 degrees. I’m sure many areas of the Adirondacks had a frost on those mornings. I know many fruit growers took it in the shorts on those mornings and so did many people who had all their flowers in. I washed off my fruit trees with the hose, which were all in blossom and they produced lots of crab apples…maybe my best crop. The turkeys enjoyed them all winter until they were gone.

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Friday, June 7, 2024

Reminder to give nesting loons space, take photos from afar

Loon on a nest

It has been a busy week, starting with the Loon monitoring for the summer and not too soon, as many of the pairs are already on a nest. Last year was the first time I had Loons on eggs before I started watching them in the last week of May. This year, more than half of the pairs are on eggs already. This means they will hatch a week before the big fourth of July weekend. This will give the parents and chicks a week to adjust to some boat, kayak, and canoe traffic. If you come upon a Loon on a nest in your water travels, give them some space and take pictures with a long lens camera, not your hand-held cellphone. Many of the new phones take great pictures and some even have a zoom feature.

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Saturday, June 1, 2024

Pondering ADK power issues, correlation between high-tension lines and cancer

new Loon Platform on the water

Another intense storm is predicted for tomorrow, May 27, with thunderstorms, high winds, hail…and who knows what else. The mid-west has been hammered for the last week as these storms rolled across the country, one after the other. Tornadoes have hit several towns and villages in their path with some loss of life, and many homes and businesses destroyed. To look at the pictures of the damage, it is amazing that more people hadn’t been killed.

We had some pretty high winds a couple times and with the trees all leafed out, they blow over much more than in the wintertime when they are bare of leaves. On the other hand, the evergreens take it in the shorts in all seasons. I’ve seen where lots of them have been blown down during the winter and now the cleanup has begun. I’ve been meaning to mention that if you have a row of evergreens in your yard and one dies, it should be removed so that whatever killed it doesn’t spread to the others. If left in place, it may spread to the whole row of trees as I have seen happen many times.

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Saturday, May 4, 2024

Placing loon platforms & reminiscing about nabbing a tom turkey in ’92

Man with turkey

I saw my first blackfly in the air while working in the View Art Center gardens in Old Forge last week. It was only one, but I’m sure there are more to come. They were down by the pond when I fed the trout last night. We had three mornings in the twenties this week which put a skim of ice on the bird bath, but didn’t harm the growing flowers, so far that I can see. Many more wildflowers put out blooms as the sun came out on a couple of those days.

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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Sprouting wildflowers & little birds mobbing feeders

A male yellow-bellied sapsucker

Today is Earth Day 2024 and what I see outside isn’t a heavy frost that came overnight, but light snow and 22 degrees on the thermometer. The bird bath is a frozen skating rink for the birds as it was also yesterday morning, April 21. The high temperature yesterday was only 39 degrees, and the little birds were mobbing the feeders as they must have known what was coming. I had a new bird at the feeder for this year yesterday, a Chipping Sparrow, which went away with a band. The day before, I saw three Northern Flickers on a lawn along Limekiln Road feeding with two Robins.

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Readers share eclipse stories & photos; loons call for mates, woodcocks take flight

Eighth Lake during the eclipse

They always say, “April showers bring May flowers,” but they didn’t say if they were snow or rain showers, which we had both of this week. Some snow covered the ground for a brief time on Saturday morning, April 13, but was gone by noon that day. I’m still hearing from readers about what they experienced during the eclipse. Some of my family members, living out Rochester way, didn’t experience much as clouds covered up the whole eclipse. I feel sorry for them that they didn’t see it.

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Saturday, February 10, 2024

Use non-toxic fishing tackle, lead poisoning leading cause of loon deaths

Paradox Pete stuffed animal in the snow

Winter held on for another week, giving snowmobilers and skiers some snow to play on…but be careful of ice conditions with all the freezing and thawing we’ve had this winter. Punxsutawney Phil and Ellie George’s Paradox Pete didn’t see their shadows, so we can look for Spring most any time. Since we’ve had six Spring Breaks so far this winter, that won’t be anything new.

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Thursday, February 8, 2024

Lead Poisoning: The Leading Cause of Death in Adirondack Loons in 2023

x-ray of a loon that swallowed lead fishing tackle.

Although legislation was passed in 2004 that banned the sale of small lead fishing tackle in New York, the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has continued to document Adirondack loons dying from lead poisoning after ingesting lead jigheads and sinkers that are still legal to use. In 2023, five out of 12 dead loons that were collected and submitted to the NYS DEC’s Wildlife Health Program for necropsy died due to lead poisoning, making it the leading cause of death in these unfortunate birds. Other causes of death included trauma, illness, and parasites.

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Saturday, February 3, 2024

16,138 birds seen during 2024 Region 7 Waterfowl Count

Tufted ducks

We just had our sixth January thaw since winter began in December and the driveway is bare again. The turkeys were picking grit from it to break down the corn in their crops. There have been from nine to thirty-three [turkeys] here daily at the feeders which have been spooked by hikers or skiers on the trail out back a few times. There were twenty-three here this morning [Jan. 31] and after they went down the ski trail, they got into quite a squabble. Some of the males must have been showing dominance, and by the sounds coming from there…feathers were flying.

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Saturday, January 13, 2024

Juvenile loon frees itself from Old Forge Pond

Iced-in loon on Old Forge Pond

It is finally white outside, but with possible warmer weather [and] rain and snow coming this week, it may not last very long. Last Thursday night the temperature plummeted to near zero [degrees] with the stars and moon shining bright most of the night with no wind. All lakes in this area froze that night with a coating of ice. Not very thick, but they were mostly ice covered. [The ice is not thick] enough to walk on (and certainly not [thick] enough to snowmobile on.) Check any ice [thickness and conditions] before you travel on any iced-over, snow-covered lakes.

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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Northern Lights, fishing loons, and a lone muskrat

Northern Lights over Indian Lake

Here we are in the third week of November and there is no snow on the ground. The temperatures dipped low the last couple nights (18 [degrees] the first night, Nov. 12, and 12 [degrees] on Nov. 13) which put a skim of ice on the pond. There is a lone muskrat in the pond. [It] will be looking for a “get out of pond” card soon as there is no vegetation left for it to eat, as I pulled it all out. On the night of Nov. 6, there was a great show of the Northern Lights. Some folks in Indian Lake got a great photo which some friends sent [to] me.

Locally, some folks saw it [Northern Lights] over Seventh Lake, but no photos [were] taken (that I’ve seen.) Looking at the forecast [on] Saturday night [Nov. 11,] there was another show expected and my grandson. Nathan, and I were prepared to get out and get some shots. [Unfortunately,] that didn’t happen as the clouds never parted. It was [expected] to peak just after dark, but the clouds stayed overhead right through the night.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation to host “Loon Zooms” through April

loon on a lake

Saranac Lake, NY – The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (ACLC) has recently announced a winter series of “Loon Zooms” that will take place monthly through April. The online presentations will feature a new topic and new speaker each month, giving guests a wide range of information about these unique and intriguing animals. Those interested are encouraged to save the dates listed below and register early, as space is limited. The Loon Zooms are offered free of charge to ACLC donors (using a coupon code provided on the ACLC website), and are $10 each session for others. The zoom link will be provided after registration is complete.

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Saturday, November 4, 2023

Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation to offer monthly Loon Zoom presentations, Nov. to April

Loon gliding across a lake

Saranac Lake, NY – The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (ACLC) is providing monthly online “Loon Zoom” presentations about loon behavior, research, conservation, and ecology. Six presentations will be offered at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month from November to April.

“We are excited to offer these fascinating online presentations over the winter so we can learn about loon ecology and conservation outside the Adirondacks while the birds are wintering elsewhere,” said Dr. Nina Schoch, Executive Director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation.

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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Loon pics and moon shots

Loon on a lake

The sun provides illumination. The author has used it to capture these photos.

The loons often cry out under the moon. Their haunting songs travel well across the water at nighttime when the only other birds who give a hoot are owls.

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