Tuesday, May 18, 2010
First Loon Rescue of 2010
Thanks to an alert motorist and the help of many people, a loon was saved last week after crashing on a road near Berlin Pond on May 12th. The Central Vermont Humane Society received a call about a loon on the side of the road. The VLRP has documented many crash-landings on roads especially in areas where the lakes are far apart. Loons might become exhausted looking for a lake to land on or become confused by the black, water-like appearance of road surfaces, especially at night. Joan Van Cour of the Humane Society contacted VLRP coordinator, Eric Hanson, shortly after she took the call. Following the standard protocol for dealing with loons in this situation, the loon spent the night in a padded box before being delivered to Craig Newman, a wildlife rehabilitator for the Outreach for Earth Stewardship. Craig and Richmond, VT veterinarian Dr. Daniel Hament found the loon to be healthy with almost no signs that it had just had a traumatic crash. Craig released the loon at the south end of Berlin Pond just in case that is where it came from. The established loon pair was observed, but luckily the crash victim did not pose a territorial threat and was left alone. Eric Hanson visited the pond on May 14th and observed the territorial pair at the north end of Berlin Pond and a single loon near the south end, likely the main character of this story. The pond is big enough for a third loon to stay around and not interfere with the territorial pair.
2010 update: Loon pairs are starting to nest at a rate slightly ahead of normal. Nine nests have been confirmed as of May 18, but many volunteers are just beginning to check on their loon pairs as part of the Adopt-a-Lake program. We have a potential record for early nesting, at least during the past 13 years, on Lake Eden with a start date of May 8 based on the change from 2 adults being observed to 1 adult. We’ll know for sure on June 5 after the usual 28 days of incubation. Let the loon season begin.