What is a cottage lake without the sound of a loon? or a family of loons? Not a loony family like the ones down the shore that are all crazy, I’m talking about the birds, commonly known around here as the ‘common loon’
Did you know that they return to the same lake each year to have their young? Did ya know that they also turn more of a brown color instead of the distinctive black and white that we know so well from seeing them around the cottage in the summer? Loons don’t fly south for the winter, they usually spend the winter months around the seacoast, in the salt water, which is why they are usually on the lake not long after the ice is out.
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love the sound of a loon calling on the lake, it’s especially haunting on a dark foggy night, when they cry from somewhere out in the lake, their long drawn out call, that is probably the female loon calling for the male, saying something like, “Frank, where the hellllllloooohellooooareyou-you-you-you”
Loons nest along the shore close to the water which can make the young tempting treats for foxes, coyotes and I suppose a sharp eyed eagle or two. But if you have ever seen a full grown loon up close you will know they are a pretty big bird, and that long beak seems to look pretty formidable if you ask me.
Here is a video from Canada’s Dept of Environment that is a pretty good look at loons…
It’s said that loons on a lake are a sign that the lake is pretty healthy, so I am happy to report our lake has at least two loons in residence, and probably more, because it is a big lake, which supports several loons. The high cost of gas this year might reduce some of the big boat traffic which I am sure is a good thing from their perspective. I watched the pair that are tending my lake dive just in the nick of time this weekend as a big powerboat came barrelling down on them as they swam peacefully in the middle of the lake. I don’t know why the driver of the boat felt it necessary to drive exactly toward the two loons but….perhaps the loons aren’t the really looney ones on the water.
Ever wonder what a loon looks like swimming underwater?
That’s pretty cool….
Here’s a picture of a big loon that was tending our cove all weekend. We call him….um…well…we…um…call him ‘the loon’ The picture isn’t very good because I am not a very good photographer….it’s a nice shot of the neighbor’s cottage though….now that I look at it I think there are two loons in the picture…one to the very left and the other closer to the right. Hmmm…I don’t remember seeing the other one….maybe it is a ghost loon…..whooooohooooowoooowwwooo….
Here is a good book about the loon, make a great gift for the birder or a nice book to have on your cottage coffee table, it’s called, Call of the Loon of course…..
© 2008 – 2011, Rob Dares. All rights reserved. Cottager Online/The Cottage Chronicles / Rob Dares material is copyrighted, please contact me if you wish to inquire about reposting etc All prices quoted for products are subject to change, customer is responsible to confirm price with seller.