Hi everyone! Today’s bird is the “common loon”. There are 5 species of loons in N. America but this is the one that is most common and that most people are likely to see or hear. They breed from Alaska right through most of Canada in into the northernmost US states. They are even found on some of our Arctic islands. Both sexes look identical. They have four calls, one that sounds like it’s laughing, a long haunting cry, a yodel and a single noted hoo. Only the males do the yodel and each is totally unique so that each bird can be identified by it’s yodel. They can dive to depths of 250 feet (80 meters). They mostly eat fish of various kinds, plus crustaceans, salamanders and a few other things. They nest right beside water because their feet are place well back on their body making it difficult for them to walk much on land, but it aids them greatly in swimming and diving. Only 1 or 2 eggs is laid and usually only one chick survives to adulthood. Chicks ride on their parents back quite a bit for the first few days, to keep warm and safe from predators. Loons spend their winters on the east and west coasts of N. America. Adult loons are the first to leave in fall, followed by the young 2 to 3 weeks later. Common loon sightings and wonderful calls are a true wilderness joy.
Have a great day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2021 Steve McLeod.