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Local Loons: How they Survive and Where they Go

On Friday, January 4th, Dr. Scott Ford, avian medicine and surgery specialist, shared information about local loons. Their biology and conservation were discussed, along with stunning images taken by Dan Poleschook and Ginger Gumm, local professional photographers. Dr. Ford discussed where our loons go in the winter, and provided updates on telemetry technology that will allow researchers to better track individual loons from our area in the coming years. 



The following information is available to the community:



For more information about loons, or if you are interested in being involved with loon banding efforts, please contact Ginger Poleschook by email ggloon@msn.com or call: 509-939-9699. 


“Loons carry a universal appeal—their beckoning cry, their surreal beauty, and their dependable presence every summer—but their dwindling presence leaves a noticeable gap,” says Dr. Ford. “We are inspired by the beauty of these birds and the challenges they face in a changing world.”

In the summers of 2011 and 2012, Dr. Scott Ford has assisted with efforts to capture, band, and sample common loons in Northeastern Washington. This banding and research work has been carried out for many years with the cooperation of biologist Darwin Long (Biodiversity Research Institute) and Daniel and Ginger Poleschook (Loon Lake Loon Association).

Scott is a board-certified specialist in avian medicine and surgery. His career with wild birds began in Alaska in 1989 working in a wildlife rehabilitation center with bald eagles. He graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. His veterinary career has included private practice, specialty avian practice, staff veterinarian at the Alaska Raptor Center, online avian medical consultant, and he currently practices as a free-lance pet-bird and wildlife veterinarian. Scott provides support to various wildlife rehabilitation centers. He also provides veterinary support to field projects involving raptors, waterfowl, and loons. Scott presents at professional conferences around the country and has published several avian medicine articles in peer-reviewed journals.