Broken-billed Loon

When you look out on Cayuga Lake and see a Common Loon which is missing a third of its lower bill, your first question might be, "How did that happen?" When you see a similarly broken-billed loon some time `in the same area, you would figure, "That's probably the same individual," and you might ask, "How does it survive with such an apparent handicap?" When you see it there a year or more later, you contemplate site fidelity by individual birds outside the breeding range and season. When you keep encountering what appears to be the same bird in the same area a decade later, you have to wonder, "How long do birds of this species live?" Such have been the thought-provoking observations around Myers Point in Lansing.

Below is a history based on postings to the CayugaBirds-L email listserv as summarized in 2006 by Matt Williams and again in the January 2010 Cayuga Bird Club newsletter by Anne Marie Johnson.

 2001 April 4 - Ben Fambrough, earliest known record
  December - yes 
 2002 early spring - yes  (Richard & Jill Wood)
  early winter - yes
 2003 apparently there were no posts to CayugaBirds-L about the loon
 2004 February 21 - Kevin McGowan photo
  March - yes
 2005 apparently there were no posts to CayugaBirds-L about the loon
 2006 March - yes
November 26 - David Ruppert photo
 2007 February and March - yes
 2008 (apparently there were no posts to CayugaBirds-L about the loon)
 2009 December 5 - Tim Lenz
 2010 March 13 - Dave Nutter photo

late in year - Jay McGowan
 2011 January 11 - Bob McGuire
 2012 January 10 - Dave Nutter & Ann Mitchell

Please contribute if you can extend the history, fill in gaps, add details, send a photo, or add a location not close to Myers Point.

-Dave Nutter, 1/12/2012
Common Loon with broken mandible. Myers Point 2/21/2004. Kevin McGowan.
2/21/2004, Kevin McGowan

Loon with broken bill. North of Myers Point, 11/26/2006. Dave Ruppert.
11/26/2006, Dave Ruppert

Broken-billed Loon, 3/21/2010, Dave Nutter
3/21/2010, Dave Nutter