Nothing says cottage country like hearing the sound of a loon’s plaintiff call on a quiet night beside a lake. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t stop and take at least a passing notice of the sound of a loon or a chorus of loons. It is music to my ears and I’m sure to yours as well.
I write about loons occasionally here at The Cottage Chronicles because I love loons, watching and listening to them. They are a happy reminder that life is good, wouldn’t you agree?
As you know, I like to keep you well informed on ‘stuff’ in the hopes that some of it will come in handy. For instance, what would be better than being able to entertain your friends with exciting loon facts as you all gather around a cottage campfire on a summer’s eve? You will be able to absolutely regale your visitors with this stuff. (note: I am not exactly sure what “regale” means or if it is spelled correctly, but I like saying it.)
Here are some random facts about northern loons, memorize a couple, you will be glad you did, especially if you cannot play the guitar or have any other talents appreciated at a campfire.
Ten Facts About Loons
1) The Common Loon, apart from being known as “the common loon” is also known as The Great Northern Loon and the Great Northern Diver.
2) Adult loons can have a wingspan as wide as 5 feet and weigh close to 20 pounds.
3) Both male and female loons build the nest, take turns sitting on the eggs and both feed their young.
4) Loons capture their food underwater. Fish of almost all types, plus invertebrates and amphibians make up their diet.
5) In winter loons don’t fly south, instead they move from the lakes and freshwater waterways to the ocean’s coast where they remain until the lakes thaw in Spring.
6) In winter loons change from their distinctive black and white coloration to a brownish grey, drab color, on their head and back, with a white neck and underside.
7) Male and Female common loons look identical, although the males are usually larger.
8) Loons carry their young on their backs until they are big enough to swim on their own.
9) Loons live several years, the oldest known is thought to have lived 9 years. I am not sure I agree with this, as we have a loon in our cove that I am convinced has been around longer than 9 years.
10) Apart from breeding and nesting, common loons spend very little time on land. The position of their feet make them great swimmers but not great walkers.
There ya go, ten uncommon facts about common loons.
Imagine yourself at a campfire this summer, a loon calls from somewhere out on the lake. You clear your throat, stand up and wipe the remains of a roasted marshmallow from your chin as you announce, “Ya know, the great northern loon can have a wingspan of five feet and weigh almost twenty pounds.”
Watch your audience closely, you will soon know if they want to hear more of your enthralling, regaling loon facts…if they don’t, sit back down, you can try again later with some enthralling, regaling facts about squirrels.