Loon Census

The Loon Preservation Committee monitors loons throughout the state as part of its mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire.

The Loon Preservation Committee will conduct its annual loon census Saturday.

From 8 to 9 a.m., LPC staff and hundreds of volunteers throughout the state will take to the lakes to count loons.

“The Loon Census is a valuable part of our annual data collection,” LPC biologist Caroline Hughes said in a news release.

“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, which began in 1983, 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 Aug. 26.

At the same time that biologists and volunteers are setting out on New Hampshire lakes to count loons, counterparts in Maine, Vermont and New York will be out doing the same, the LPC said in the news release.

Anyone who would like to take part in the New Hampshire segment of this regional effort to count loons can contact the Loon Preservation Committee at 603-476-5666 for more information.