RAY BROOK — Blown off course on a recent windy day, four red-throated loons landed in the Adirondack Park.
A common loon — the variety that summers in the region — also made a crash landing during the Nov. 24 windstorm.
The first call for help to the Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation came that afternoon after a red-throated loon landed in the Catamount Mountain parking lot, according to a press release.
It was brought to the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehab Center in Wilmington.
Another one was found at Mount Van Hoevenberg the next morning, a third landed by Mountain View Lake and a fourth in the Old Forge area.
A common loon, also buffeted by the wind, was found on a road in the Glens Falls area.
“Red-throated loons breed in Canada and Alaska,” said Dr. Nina Schoch, coordinator for the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, in the release.
“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; one of its smaller relatives was set free on Lake Champlain.
“Another red-throated loon was able to get airborne again on its own by running on the snow,” the release said. “Unfortunately, the remaining two birds had sustained severe injuries and had to be euthanized.”
The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation expressed gratitude to Steve Maynard, Environmental Conservation Officer Kevin Riggs, High Peaks Animal Hospital, the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge, 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 the birds.