Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Common Loon

The state bird of Minnesota is the common loon. This is a fitting choice because the preferred habitat of the common loon are large northern lakes, except in winter of course, which Minnesota has quite a few of.
These birds are built for life in the water. Their legs are set near the back end of there body which helps to make them efficient swimmers. This also makes them rather awkward when they come a shore, typically only for mating and nesting, and is the reason for the name loon.
Because they spend much of their time diving for fish under the water loons do not have hollow bones like many other birds do. Hollow bones would give them too much buoyancy making it hard to dive under water in search of fish. This also makes it difficult for loons to get up into the air quickly. They usually require a good stretch of water, like a run way, to take off. Because of this they are much more likely to dive under the water to avoid danger then to try and fly away.

10 comments:

Arija said...

I have always loved the mournful call of the Loon. Lovely captures.

Judy said...

I've vaguely wondered why they sit so low in the water! Must be the solid bones! They are beautiful birds!!

Shelley said...

My most favorite bird of all! Loved these photos! I've been anxiously awaiting the return of my loons to Michigan.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Great shots of the loon. We also love you slide show.

Darryl and Ruth : )

christina, sweden said...

great closeups of the loon

Hootin' Anni said...

The closeup...with its red eye...wow!!! Just wow.

STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE... is my Wednesday entry!! do come by if you can, I'd love to have your company today.

Denise said...

Interesting information about the loon, thank you. Great photos also.

top5cats said...

What a beautiful bird. Have never see one like that. I live in Virginia. Great job.

KaHolly said...

Bravo! A wonderful post today about a beautiful bird, and didn't you get some nice shots of it?? ~karen

Bill S. said...

Loved your photos and love loons. We do have a few here but they will come much later.