Below are a few better photos of our loon family — better mainly because I was able to borrow a real camera vs. just using an iphone. Maybe I should go shopping…
The image above shows the family of three loons occupying our lake this year. Baby loons, called chicks, can swim nearly immediately after hatching, and start diving within 2-3 days. At this point the family abandons their nest and moves to a “nursery area” of the lake while the chick develops.
This chick appears to be thriving. Yesterday we saw it diving and swimming long distances underwater.
The male loon picks the nesting site for each breeding pair and vigorously defends it from loon “floaters”. Floaters are 2-7 year-old unpaired loons that drift from lake to lake — the outsiders of loon society.
The loon in the image above is showing off his territorial display — in this case to warn away me and my kayak.
The geographic distribution of loons over the year is illustrated in a beautiful map provided on the website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
More updates to come…