We just heard from Eric Hanson and here's the plan:
Eric said this has happened at least four or five times in his career and each time the loon was able to get onto the ice and did not freeze in. Once the bird is on the ice, Eric waits until the ice is thick enough to support a person and then the bird is fairly easy to catch. If it is apparently not injured or sick, it will then be released at Lake Champlain which won't freeze over until around January or February, giving the loon time to figure out it's time to head for the ocean.
What we have to do now is watch for the bird to get up onto the ice and then we will let Eric know. He will then test the ice and if/when it's safe, perform the rescue. So please, all of you who are here year around and can see the spot in front of Talbot's where this poor unfortunate bird is, keep watch and let us or Evelyn know if you see it on the ice. Our phone is 563-2381; Evelyn's is 563-3083. We will then contact Eric and he'll take it from there.
Fred will be posting on the website an article Eric has written about this sort of "emergency." Apparently it is not unusual; maybe just an immature bird - or an adult with poor judgement. The good news is that they at least have sense enough to get out of the water onto the ice so they won't freeze in place.
Thanks again to all for your concerns. We'll let you know of any changes.
Here is a link to Eric's article that explains a bit more about loon habits: Loons in November