Press-Republican

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October 8, 2013

Celebration to salute the loon

PAUL SMITHS — The Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and the Paul Smith’s College VIC have teamed up to celebrate the Adirondack’s most iconic bird: the common loon.

The free event is planned for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Visitors Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths.

The day will include activities for the whole family, including a loon-calling contest; Merriloons the Clown to entertain the kids with face-painting, balloons and more; a concert by Jamie Savage, Adirondack singer-songwriter; a field trip to observe loon behavior first-hand; a scavenger hunt; a loon quilt raffle and silent auction; and a presentation and display about loon natural history and conservation.

The Adirondack Interpretive Center’s little rubber loons will be available for purchase, and loon-related food will be available.

“The day will be an exciting opportunity to learn about loon natural history, threats affecting their populations and ongoing loon research and conservation efforts in the Adirondack Park,” Dr. Nina Schoch, coordinator of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, said in a news release.

“We are thrilled to have John Ozard and Ben Tabor from New York State DEC judge the loon-calling contest. They are both very experienced in trying to catch our study loons, so I’m sure there will be tight competition to determine the best yodels, tremolos and wails.”

Raffle tickets for the loon quilt ($5 each or six tickets for $25) can be downloaded at www.briloon.org/adkloon.

Biodiversity Research Institute and its collaborators have studied the Adirondack loon population since 1998 to evaluate the impact of mercury pollution on aquatic ecosystems and to learn more about the migration and the health of the Adirondack bird.

The Center for Loon Conservation conducts educational programs, such as the Science on the Fly school curriculum, to increase public understanding about conservation concerns affecting the loon population and the aquatic ecosystem where the birds live.

For more information or to register for the field trip, visit www.adkloon.org, email adkloon@briloon.org or call (888) 749-5666, Ext. 145.

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