“Freedom’s Common Loons” Presentation Set for Old Home Week

Freedom – July 26, 2010 – Ossipee Lake Alliance will present “Freedom’s Common Loons: Life in the Wild on Local Lakes” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3. The presentation will be outdoors under the big tent at Calumet Conference Center, which is co-hosting the event as part of Freedom Old Home Week.

The presentation, by John Cooley of the Loon Preservation Committee in Moultonborough, will include a discussion of the birth of two loon chicks on the lake in June – the first documented birth of loons on Ossipee Lake since the Loon Committee began keeping records in the late 1970s.

Cooley will outline loon natural history and conservation on Ossipee Lake and other local bodies of water including – where else? – Freedom’s Loon Lake, where nesting loons have also been documented.

“The Freedom area offers great case studies of the natural habitat needs of loons and how we manage our work to address the various stresses and challenges they face,” Cooley said.

The loons born on Ossipee Lake this year were first reported by Leavitt Bay resident Cathie Bowen on June 22 in a posting on Ossipee Lake Alliance’s Facebook page. Bowen said she sighted the chicks riding on their mother’s back on Sunday the 20th and saw them again on Tuesday “out for a spin” on the east side of the bay.

Cooley said the loons were born on Leavitt Bay and then moved to Berry Bay, saying loons typically leave their nesting site and transition to a new location to raise their chicks as part of a strategy to keep predators confused.

Leavitt Bay has had nesting loons each spring for a number of years, but the location of the nest proved vulnerable to boat waves and human disturbance until this year. Humans are among the biggest dangers to loons, and the Alliance’s Facebook community worked diligently in July to keep boaters aware of the location of the chicks so they could steer clear.

“Freedom’s Common Loons: Life in the Wild on Local Lakes” is part of the Alliance’s Tales of Ossipee Lake series of events on the human and natural history of the lake, now in its seventh year.

The event is free and open to all. Directions to Calumet Conference center can be found on their website.

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