Saturday, August 3, 2013

Common Loon with Chicks

Common Loon with Chicks on Back
The common loon is the state bird of Minnesota, where I live. Common loons breed primarily in Canada but will also breed in the northern portions of the US, such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Common loons spend their entire life in the water, except for nesting. They are designed for swimming, with their back legs placed further back on their body. They are also heavier then most birds their size. This is because their bones are not hollow like other birds. This gives them less buoyancy so that they can dive easier to catch fish, their primary food source. It also makes it more difficult for them to fly. A loon will dive under the water to avoid danger instead of trying to fly. About the only time that you will see loons in flight is during migration. When the northern lakes begin to freeze the common loons head to the open coastal waters of North America. Loon chicks are able to swim shortly after hatching. When they are small they rely on their parents for food and protection. Most predators will not mess with adult loons because of their size but loon chicks are a different matter. Before they are old enough to dive for cover to avoid danger the chicks will often hide under their parents wings if a larger raptor is in the area. Other times they will snooze while riding on mom or dad's back. 



10 comments:

Snap said...

I love this shot. Made me smile. Always fun to read your posts, too.

Huldra said...

So good to hear how they search theire mother for shelter. Beautiful picture :)

acreativeharbor.com said...

You always have the best photos here on your blog ~ love the gems of nature ~ Happy Weekend to you!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Jeff Stunning shot of diver and chicks. It is great to be able to have them breeding in your state.

KaHolly said...

Incredible shot!! I'm so glad you shared this image.

bailey-road.com said...

Wonderful shot! Loons are beautiful.

Arija said...

That is an absolutely super shot! A good way of getting two for the price of one.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Awesome shot!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Oh very pretty!!! I read where one was spotted in a nearby bay close to our area here in TX...but when we drove there, it wasn't seen.

Loved your photo.

This is Anni @ I'd rather b birdin'...just in my personal blog admin today [Hootin' Anni]. I'm too lazy to switch. :o)

raf said...

Of all the many and awesome birds in the world, the common loon is at the very top of my favorites. Great shot!