Thanks for making loon festival a hoot

To the editor:

Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation held its first Adirondack Loon Celebration on Oct. 13 at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. More than 350 people joined us for a fun-filled, “loony” day.

The morning started with two exceptional field trips to observe loons on local lakes, guided by Gary Lee, Grace McDonnell, John Ozard and Amy Sauer. Merriloons the Clown painted extraordinary loons and other animals on the faces of the younger participants. The kids also had fun making loon-related crafts and looking for the mysterious loon call during a scavenger hunt throughout the VIC.

The crowd was entertained with wonderful Adirondack music by Jamie Savage and Sue Grimm in the morning, followed by the Rustic Riders in the afternoon. Delicious food was provided by Fruitful Seasons Catering throughout the day. The auditorium filled for a unique presentation about loon natural history and the conservation efforts of BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation.

The loon-calling contest included many tremolos, a few wails and yodels, and even a hoot! It was tight competition for the judges – Gary Lee, a lifelong loon observer; John Ozard, leader of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Unit; and Ben Tabor, wildlife technician with DEC – to decide the winners. Congratulations to Ellie, Jake, Evan, Samantha, Gabe and Matt for their excellent ability to hold a loon tune!

The day concluded with a silent auction of some most unusual and beautiful loon items, and the drawing of the winning raffle ticket for the fabulous quilt depicting a loon family on an Adirondack lake. Congratulations to Barbara Juh of Keene for having the winning ticket!

We are especially grateful to Michelle Berrus, Nicole Buckley, Ellie George, Paul Hai, Kathy Hogan, Ellen Jones, Jack and Marina LaDuke, Gary Lee, Brian McAllister, Brian McDonnell, Darryl McGrath, John Ozard, Amy Sauer, Bill and Jorge Schoch, Ben Tabor and Brittany Wieder for all their excellent behind-the-scenes expertise which made the first Adirondack Loon Celebration a success. We would also like to thank our many sponsors and donors who generously provided their support, including Adirondack Birding Center, Adirondack Explorer, Adirondack Interpretive Center, Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters, Adirondack Life, Adirondack Museum, Adirondack Scenic Railroad, Adirondack Store, BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, Call of the Loon, Celia Evans, Dan Berggren, Deaddrift Studio, Dunkin’ Donuts, Fruitful Seasons Catering, Gary Lee, Hannaford, Hoss’ Country Store, Howard Jennings Photography, Jamie Savage, Jeff Nadler, John Kirk and Trish Miller, Quickstep, K&E Enterprises, Kathy Andrews, Mac’s Canoe Livery, Master Images, Mirror Lake Inn Resort, Mountain Meadows Farm, Old Forge Hardware, Paradox Lake Pure, Paul Smith’s College VIC, Piece by Piece Studio, Price Chopper, Ray Brook Frog, Rustic Riders, Ruthie’s Run, Sagamore, Studio D’une, Sue Ochs Quilting, Sue’s Studio, The Bookstore Plus, The UPS Store, The Village Square, The Wild Center, View, Whiteface Lodge Resort and Wild Birds Unlimited,.

To learn more about BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, visit us at, like us on Facebook, or contact or 888-749-5666 ext. 145.

With much gratitude to all who participated in our first Adirondack Loon Celebration! Hope to see you next year!

Nina Schoch


BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation

Ray Brook