Loons are built for life in the water, something Minnesota has plenty of. Unlike most other birds their bones are solid, instead of hollow, the extra weight helps them to dive down to depths of over 200 feet below the surface of the water. This, combined with their aerodynamic, torpedo like, shape and their glowing red eyes, which give them excellent vision when they are underwater, help them to hunt fish, although they will also eat frogs, crayfish leeches and other aquatic invertebrates.
Solid bones help the loon in the water however they are somewhat of a hindrance for flight. Loons need a lot of space in order to get enough speed to get up into the air. The required length of the "runway" can be from 100 to over 500 feet which is why loons sometimes get themselves trapped on a small ponds. Loons can swim with in a day after hatching but it takes almost two months before they can make their way up into the air. This young loon was working on its take off in preparation for the coming fall migration, when loons leave the interior of North America and head to their wintering grounds on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts.