Common Loons

Joined: 12:59 AM - Jun 21, 2017

1:09 AM - Sep 01, 2018 #1

A species of Loons are named "Common".   I think they are special rather than common and their breeding plumage is beautiful.   I'm reading the book "The Loon" Voice of the Wilderness, a very educational book and have learned a lot about them; hope I can  remember some of it.    The book said loons are the oldest birds in north American and go back 60 million years.   It takes 4 years before mature loons acquire the beautiful breeding black and while feathers and patterns.

Did you know loons have a hard time walking on land because their feet are close to their tails.  For the sake of agility under water, the loon's legs are set back near its tail, with the thigh in a horizontal position. Thus kicking into a dive is easy.

The female only lays two eggs.  If lucky, the eggs will hatch in 29 days.  If something happens and the eggs get eaten by a predator, etc., they will try again to lay eggs, up to three times.  After the third time they give up, lessening the loon population.    They have a lot to contend with on a lake, including predators and humans in boats, kayaks, things on land disturbing the nest, etc.   Their nest must be on land close to the water for quick escapes and trips to the water.  They also have mahogany colored eyes.

Here are a few images from today.   I think the smaller loon is this years' offspring.   We saw three loons together and it looked like a family.

Loons best 2.JPG Loon's foot.JPG
Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
Zone 6b

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