Loons blown down in recent windstorm

RAY BROOK – At least one common loon and four red-throated loons were blown down in Sunday’s windstorm.

Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation received its first call Sunday afternoon concerning a red-throated loon that was in the Catamount Mountain trailhead parking lot in the town of Black Brook. It was brought to the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center in nearby Wilmington.

A second red-throated loon was found at Mount Van Hoevenberg the following morning. Then a third loon was found up by Mountain View Lake and a fourth in the Old Forge area. Finally, a common loon was found on a road in the Glens Falls area.

“Red-throated loons breed in Canada and Alaska.” said Dr. Nina Schoch, coordinator of BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. “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.”

The common loon was released on the Hudson River, and one of the red-throated loons was released on Lake Champlain. Another red-throated loon was able to get airborne again on its own by running on the snow. The remaining two birds had sustained severe injuries and had to be euthanized.

BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation expressed gratitude to Steve Maynard, state environmental conservation officer Kevin Riggs, High Peaks Animal Hospital, the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehab Center, Dr. Katherine Donis, North Country Wild Care, the Glens Falls Animal Hospital, Gary Lee, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Unit for their assistance in rescuing these birds.