The other day when I was paddling on my kayak as fast as I could to get to the Loon sounds on my lake, I did make a pit stop when I saw this Blue Heron walking along the shore. I am happy to report he lives on our lake too!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Shelley that really loved Loons. Her and her husband built a log cabin on a quiet lake and hoped that Loons would appear. Time went by and still no Loons. However, there was a Loon pair on a neighboring lake and Shelley fell in love with them. She became a Loon ranger to help protect and monitor them. Soon they had babies and all was wonderful in the world. Still...she longed for the day when she could be out looking at her own lake and seeing Loons nearby.
One day when she was out on the neighboring lake, a Loon invader appeared and the pair of resident loons chased him off. Shelley hoped and prayed this Loon invader would find her lake a good replacement. And to her amazement, he came to her lake! Now she needed him to stay and find a mate. The male Loon would sing daily - morning, dusk and sometimes even midnight. Shelley believed he was calling for a mate. Please, please let it happen. And then one day Shelley awoke and hear a "loon racket." She got in her kayak, paddled as fast as she could to the other end of the lake to make sure her male loon was not in trouble. And here is what she found...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The male and female Common Loon have the same coloring however if you look at the photos below, you can see that the male is larger - longer neck, longer bill and larger body. As I've mentioned before - they are both very diligent parents. Below you can see them extending their neck to check for any danger to their loon chicks. Eagles are the number one predator, followed by fish such as pike and large mouth bass. Once the chicks reach 6 weeks of age, they are able to outmaneuver most danger.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I want everyone to know that my husband was such a saint when I had him cruising his fishing boat all over the lake to search for my Loon family. We were way at the other end and had been looking for over 30 minutes when we heard the haunting Loon call from the other side of the lake. I was a backseat driver telling him to "be quiet", "no, go over there", "don't upset them" - anyways - thank you honey!
And look how big the babies have gotten! I love them!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The rose-breasted grosbeak on the left is Felix and the one on the right is Oscar. This is how I imagined their conversation:
Felix: "Oscar, what's going on here? Your hair is a mess and the bird feeder is a mess!"
Oscar: "So what are you trying to say?" Snicker, snicker.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
When the hubby and I were out fishing, we could hear the blue jay making a racket in the trees on the shoreline. Shortly thereafter, two juvenile eagles flew out - I'm sure because the blue jay was annoying them. They were so fast that I could only catch a photo of one of them in flight.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Had to share this amazing story from the March 2008 Loon Echoes newsletter from Joanne C. Williams at Michigan Loonwatch.It seems as Loon Rangers observe the same Loons frequently, keeping a careful distance and not disturbing them - that the Loon will begin to trust you. They seem to understand that they are not in danger from the Loon Rangers.
One Loon came to a Ranger's cottage for its' chick that was in trouble. "They act much as a cat or dog would when wanting someone to follow them, calling to win attention and then moving away and returning in a gesture that seemed to say 'Please follow.' When the Ranger did, he found "a chick was struggling hard to stay afloat while being caught and pulled down by something under the water. The Ranger lifted the chick out and found a small turtle holding onto the little bird's foot. The young one was freed and returned to the parents waiting only three feet away."
I was not only touched by the Loon Ranger's dedication to helping the Loon, but by the devotion and sophistication of the Loon parents to seek help.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
My favorite part about this Loon family is their togetherness. When the mom and dad Loon were fishing, the babies stayed snuggled together. When the babies were practicing fishing - mom and dad were close to each other keeping a watchful eye on their chicks.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I can't sing the Loon's praises enough of what good parents they are. It's so touching watching the family interact together. Often times I would observe the Loon father always looking back to check on the loon chicks while they were swimming across the lake.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I know I've been posting dozens of Loon photos this past week, but I did see other birds on Bradford Lake. Meet the Belted Kingfisher! This was exciting for me as this was the first time I had seen this bird! Like the Loon, it also likes to dive into the water and catch fish.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
It's time for the Loon mom to observe her loon chick's fishing skills.
If you look to the far right of this photo, you can see the loon chick with his head underwater. He was mimicking his mother and I believe looking for fish.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The Loon is very territorial and you typically won't find more than one mating pair on a lake that's under 50 acres. Sometimes the juvenile loon will return to its natal lake the following year which might've been the case in the scenario below. The mating pair is very protective of their babies and will go after any Loon they perceive as a threat.
Here is the Loon eyeing his invader.
The chase ensues!
And don't come back!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Loon week continues on my blog! Here's the father Loon giving a warning to some fishermen that were too close to their family. Loons need their privacy and space and can become very sensitive to disturbance. When upset - they will give their tremolo call (that Loon laugh - hence the phrase crazy like a Loon) and they will stand up out of the water and flap their wings to make themselves appear bigger. I am happy to report the fishermen moved on and the father settled down. It is best to keep zoom camera lens distance around the families.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Loons are such good parents. These two stayed close to their babies, feeding them and keeping an eye out for predators. Within 48 hours of hatching, these loon chicks leave the nest and are swimming in the water. The chicks are vulnerable until about 13 weeks of age - and then they can swim and dive better to elude danger.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I am going to forewarn you, I took about 200 Loon photos this past week. (These were the pair of Loons and their babies that I'm watching over as a Loon Ranger.) I spent several hours Thursday morning following them at a distance and snapping as many photos as possible. This and probably next week will be LOON WEEK for my blog. I can't wait to show you the babies. Here's a photo of the male Loon taking off from Big Bradford Lake in Gaylord. They run across the water to pick up speed and then they are able to take off and fly. It was amazing to witness!