Posts Tagged ‘Loons’

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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Saturday, August 26, 2023

Offering visitors a unique experience while banding hummingbirds at Stillwater

Children watch a man band hummingbirds

With all the weather and fire events that are happening, it’s hard to keep track and report on all of them. Here we sit with water up to our eyeballs [in the Adirondacks.] A hurricane hit California and other western states will be getting the rain from it…all the way to the Canadian border. This looks like it will drown areas in California, Nevada, and Arizona. [However,] it may not be enough to help with the fires in Oregon and Washington, as it may go too far to the east. The Canadian provinces won’t be getting much of it there either, where it is needed. They evacuated 20,000 people from the town of Yellow Knife in the Northwest Territory, as fires were within two miles of the town. That’s got to be a scary situation to drive away, not knowing what you might come back to with fires that big.

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Saturday, August 19, 2023

More loon chicks killed/injured by human predators, witnesses urged to report incidents

Giant swallowtail

Last week had to be the week of rain for the summer. Some [areas got] six and seven inches in just a few hours which washed out trails, roads, and the railroad to Tupper Lake. I talked with one lady up at Twitchell Lake who said the water there came up over her dock and ten feet up on her property. It did some washing out of shoulders along the new paved road to the lake by the outlet. Some culverts were washed out on the snowmobile trail system north of Old Forge, so the system was closed to travel.

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Saturday, August 12, 2023

Bee Balm Going Gang Busters & Butterflies Enjoying Milkweeds

Hummingbird in bee balm.

The heat from Arizona to the east coast hasn’t let up, with [temperatures in] many major cities in the hundreds every day…some over a month now. We are on the cool side, with more rain and thunderstorms passing through. Last Friday [August 4] as we were getting ready to go to the opening of the National Watercolor Show at View [Arts Center in Old Forge] one of those storms had quite a bit of hail in the mix. I did hear of some places across the state that got quarter-size (and bigger) hail in that same storm as it crossed the state.

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Saturday, August 5, 2023

Three nights of loon banding, reminder to give loon families space

Loon banding on Sixth Lake

The temperature here this morning [August 1] was forty [degrees]…much cooler than the folks to the south and west of us are feeling. It rained two and a half inches here on Saturday, [July 29.] [This] got a few wet who thought the rain was coming later and they got caught out in a downpour…which soaked many to the skin. It rained so hard, it washed a little gully going down the road to the pond. [I’m] happy to report the male Loon which had the fishing plug in his tongue is back with his family this week on Limekiln Lake doing chick care as the female worked hard catching fish for their chick.

 

If you’re out and about on our local lakes, there are Loon families out there with you. If you are fishing (using live bait or plug and lures that look like live bait) don’t fish near one of these families as Loons can swim very fast underwater and take a bite at one of your baits or lures. Then you have a problem, and the Loon has a problem…your hook in its tongue. So be careful out there, and don’t fish near a Loon or a Loon family.

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Saturday, July 22, 2023

Checking on loons after the recent rain storms

Loon Chicks First Lake Dog Island

We just got lucky with all the rains, and washouts to the east, north and south of us. I had four inches of rain in my gauge when I came home from the west trip, got an inch the next day and then two days later when most of the damage was done to the east of us, I had three and a half inches in the gauge. Where the flooding had occurred, they were getting six to eight inches that day, and with the ground already saturated it just ran off causing washed out roads and bridges. Places that had never had that kind of water problem were under water for a time until it ran off, taking parts of highways with it and flooding homes and businesses.

Long Lake took the brunt of the flooding, but parts of Blue Mountain also had some damage. The little brook that ran out of the big beaver meadow along Route 28N must have had the big beaver dam blow out.  All that water coming down hill into town washed out the road to into town and then the road by Hoss’s Store in town, flooding some homes along the way. Then all that water going into Jennings Pond behind the ball field and hotel was too much for the outlet into Long Lake, so it ran across the road by the seaplane base before the causeway burst on the pond into Long Lake.

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Saturday, July 15, 2023

Reminder to respect, give space to wildlife & their young

Velvet Green Swallow

With the smoke from the fires in Canada being the big news, people were asking about the danger of fires here in the Adirondacks. Some forgot about all the water and where it runs when you get five to eight inches at a time. I don’t know how many floods I went through in the Moose River Area during my 33 years as a Forest Ranger there (and many times since I retired 24 years ago.) I know we lost the Governor Brook tube seven times…and still no bridge yet, they just fill in the hole.

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Saturday, July 8, 2023

Wildlife sightings out west: Bears, bison, coyotes, mountain goats, moose, deer and elk

 

Coyote

Arrived back in the Adirondacks today [Monday, July 3] after two days of being driven from West Yellowstone to Webster (and another four hours to get home from there today.) Made a stop at the Remsen bog on the way here and some of the showy lady’s slippers were still out. [I] also stopped to check on some of my Loons along the way. Some were still sitting, and others had hatched their chicks and were on the water with their young. So, if you are out and about on the water and see a family of Loons, give them some space and take pictures with a long lens.

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