Annual Loon Census and Loon Festival to be Held on July 16th
MOULTONBOROUGH—The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) will conduct its Annual Loon Census on July 16th from 8:00–9:00 AM. During that hour, LPC staff and volunteers throughout the state will take to the lakes to count loons. Following the Loon Census, the Loon Preservation Committee will be hosting its Annual Loon Festival from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM at The Loon Center in Moultonborough. In honor of these events, the New Hampshire senate has declared July 16th Loon Appreciation day.
“The Loon Census is a valuable part of our annual data collection,” said LPC biologist, Caroline Hughes. “It helps us to get a good count of the number of paired, as well as unpaired, adult loons and loon chicks that are present in our state.” Unpaired adult loons are those that do not develop a bond with a mate and defend a territory in a given year. Because they are not tied to a particular lake, they may spend time on many lakes, making it more difficult for biologists to get an accurate count during their surveys.
“During the census, we have hundreds of volunteers surveying hundreds of water bodies at the exact same time, which helps us to get a snapshot in time of our loon population and nail down exactly how many of those unpaired adults we have in the state,” Hughes said. The Loon Census also helps LPC to monitor the progress of known loon nests, discover previously unknown nests, check on the survival of chicks that have hatched in the previous weeks, and detect new loon chicks that may have hatched since biologists last surveyed a given water body. Census results are incorporated into LPC’s summer-long monitoring, the results of which will be given in an end-of-season presentation livestreamed on the organization’s YouTube channel on August 26th.
New Hampshire’s Loon Census is part of a much larger regional effort—at the same time that biologists and volunteers are setting out on New Hampshire lakes, counterparts in Maine, Vermont, and New York will be out doing the same. Those who would like to take part in the New Hampshire segment of this region-wide effort to count loons should contact the Loon Preservation Committee at (603)476-5666 for more information.
After the Loon Census, the 43rd Annual Loon Festival will be held at the Loon Center in Moultonborough from 10:00 AM–2:00 PM. The Loon Festival is a family friendly event that will feature loon presentations given by LPC biologists, face painting, balloon animals, loon themed crafts and games for kids, a Discovery Table and live animals from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, a fun and educational display about lake ecosystems from the NH Lakes Association, and a dunk tank where a correctly-answered loon trivia question will earn participants a chance to dunk a biologist.
For over 46 years the Loon Preservation Committee has worked to preserve the Common Loon and its habitat in New Hampshire through research, education and management activities. Come learn about these marvelous and mysterious birds and how you can help protect them.
To reach the Loon Center from Route 25 in Moultonborough turn onto Blake Road at the Moultonborough Central School. Follow Blake Road one mile to the end at Lee’s Mills Road. Turn right and the Loon Center is the first building on the left, #183. For further information call (603) 476-5666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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