Loon Preservation group urges public to give nesting birds space

MOULTONBOROUGH — The Loon Preservation Committee recorded its first pair of nesting loons this year on May 11. Since then close to 60 loon pairs have begun to incubate eggs, with more expected in the next week.

The peak time for loons to start nesting is usually in early June, followed by a four week incubation period. This was the fifth-wettest May on record in New Hampshire, and water levels are still high on some lakes, so nesting has been delayed in some areas. If traditional preferred nesting sites are under water, a pair of loons may use an alternate site instead, making it even more critical to give them the space they need to nest successfully.

The peak of hatch of loon chicks generally occurs around the Fourth of July holiday and loon pairs on nests or with chicks are vulnerable to disturbance as human activities on the lakes increase. A couple of simple precautions can help ensure a good year for loons in New Hampshire, says the committee:

· Stay back at least 150 feet from a nesting loon, or more if the loon shows any signs of distress such as craning its neck low over a nest. Loons may even appear to be injured or dead while in this head-down position, but it is simply a response to the close approach of people.

· If someone should inadvertently cause a loon to flush from the nest, they leave the area immediately to let the loon return to incubate its eggs. Time off the nest leaves the eggs vulnerable to cooling, overheating, or predation.

In 2016, Loon Preservation Committee biologists recorded 208 pairs of nesting loons, a decrease of 6 pairs from the previous year. Forty-five of those pairs nested on rafts—artificial islands that LPC floats to help loons cope with water level fluctuations or being displaced from natural sites by shoreline development or recreational activity on the lakes. Of the 208 nesting pairs, close to half were protected by signs and ropelines, and 45% of the chicks hatched came from these protected nest sites. Even with this level of management, LPC biologists recorded 112 failed nests, the highest number of nest failures on record. However, overall reproductive success was 0.50 (chicks surviving per territorial pair) which is slightly above the minimum needed to maintain the loon population over the long term.

06 20 Nesting Loons 

One of the first loon nests of the 2017 season was recorded on Bolster Pond in Sullivan.  (Courtesy photo/Brian Reilly)


Wheeler takes home fourth place in NH’s 41st annual heptathlon

06 22 Heptathlon Wheeler 

Emma Wheeler, a freshman at Inter-Lakes High School, took home fourth place at this year’s event held over Father's Day weekend. The heptathlon is two-day event that tests the abilities of an athlete to compete in seven events. Day one events include the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200-meter dash. Day two events consist of long jump, javelin and the 800-meter race. Wheeler scored in the top ten of all the events, beating out 30 upperclassmen and 12 freshmen athletes for the fourth-place spot. Just a freshman, her track abilities qualified her to compete in the state meet in the hurdles, triple jump and high jump. She also placed ninth in triple jump at the New England States track meet. Keep your eyes out next track season for Wheeler in her regular season specialty events: triple jump, high jump, and hurdles. (Courtesy photo)

New Hampton library to kick off summer reading June 27 with music and ice cream

NEW HAMPTON — The Gordon Nash Library in New Hampton will begin its 2017 Summer Reading Program on Tuesday evening, June 27, with a 6:30 p.m. performance by renowned New Hampshire musician T.J. Wheeler.

T.J. is a roots-related musician who performs blues, jazz, and ragtime on a variety of stringed instruments, like seven-string guitar, ukulele and banjo, all while foot-tapping percussion. He has received state and national awards for his lively music.

Area families are invited to attend this high-energy, entertaining kick-off to the summer schedule of events. Ice cream, donated by The New Hampton School, will be served and, if children have not yet signed up for the Summer Reading Program, they may do so at that time.

Funding for this Kids, Books and the Arts event is provided by the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, CHILIS, Cogswell Benevolent Trust, and is supported in part by a grant from the state Council on the Arts and the national Endowment for the Arts as well as funds administered by the State Library and provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

06 22 Gordon Nash TJWheeler

T.J. Wheeler will entertain participants at the Gordon Nash Library's summer reading kick-off on June 27. (Courtesy photo)

“How to Audition for a Musical” workshop at Village Players June 27

WOLFEBORO — The Village Players invite anyone interested in learning about how to prepare for an audition for a musical to a workshop at the Village Players Theater Wednesday, June 27, at 7 p.m.

“It occurred to the Village Players’ Board,” says Rosemary Lounsbury, director of this fall’s production of "The Music Man," “that we often produce shows that people love and might imagine themselves in, but they might need some pointers so they can feel confident getting up on the stage for an audition.”

Auditions for "The Music Man" are scheduled for July 30 and 31. The show will be performed the weekends of Nov. 3 and 10.

Locally well-known music teacher, conductor and musical theater director Scott Lounsbury will present the workshop where all the “W”s will be reviewed: what to wear, what you can do to warm up your voice in the car, what kind of song to prepare, and a general overview of what to expect at an audition.

The workshop is open to all members of the public. It is free to members of the Village Players, and $10 for all others. (Membership is $18 and in addition to the workshop, it entitles one to a quarterly newsletter, email updates about everything at the Theater, invitations to members-only events and camaraderie with one of the friendliest groups in the region). Pre-registration is not required for the workshop. A parent or other responsible adult is expected to stay with children under 14 for the duration of the workshop.

Learn more about the group at www.village-players.com.


06 22 Auditioning Workshop

Music professional Scott Lounsbury will conduct a “How to Audition for a Musical” Workshop at Village Players Theater in Wolfeboro June 27 at 7 p.m. (Courtesy photo)