Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Loon parents on alert

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.




12 comments:

The Birdlady said...

Very interesting - I didn't realize big fish ate little ducks...I guess I just didn't think about it..somehow sadder than eagles, even.

kjpweb said...

Beauties - it must be great to have them close by!
Cheers, Klaus

Kathiesbirds said...

There is something so hauntingly beautiful about these birds.

NCmountainwoman said...

Nice shots. Raising baby loons is fraught with danger. My daughter was recently fishing in northern WI and was dismayed to learn the muskies often take the little loons.

jalynn01 said...

Just catching up on blogs! And yours is delightful. Love the quote on the last post! and of course I love the baby loons. On down had to laugh at oscar and felix grosbeaks!The commentary was perfect. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Summer is so busy it's a wonder we have time to even check in. Have a great day.

Christy said...

I didn't realize that fish were a predator of the young. Interesting to learn. Wonderful pics of the loons. When your done watching them you should have enough to make a small book or a large book depending on how many images you put in the book and on each page.

Shellmo said...

Birdlady- I agree - I prefer the fish find other food!

KJ - feel very lucky to have them close by!

Kathie - I agree - their beauty is so special.

NC - I can't believe how much danger they are up against - I also should have mentioned that us humans have also contributed to their decline by polluting our lakes.

Jaylynn- thank you for coming by - glad you like the babies too!

Christy - that is a great idea. I really do have to take photography lessons - don't think I'm using the camera to the best of its ability.

Bird Girl said...

It is so neat the way you are documenting the loons and their progress. You are lucky to have them so close! Do you hear the 'eerie' song in the evenings?

Shellmo said...

Birdgirl - I hear them 1st thing in the morning, at dusk and then sometimes at midnight! And this is on the neighboring lake. The best part is I just discovered a new loon pair on my own lake that now make the music. Photos to soon follow...

Bird Girl said...

Shelly - when I used to teach preschoolers - I had one of those 'audible Audubons' (don't know if you are familiar - but that was back in the old days before ipods or even CDSs!) There were cards for all the birds with a small plastic disk on the back and when the needle touched it would play the bird's song. The Common Loon was always the biggest hit. The kids would close their eyes and I would say..."Imagine you are in a boat on huge lake in the dark....and suddenly...you hear THIS!" Oh, they would giggle and scream and just carry on. They laughed to think all this was scary sound was just a duck (well sort of - haha)

Ecobirder said...

Great pics. Eagles are pretty opportunistic feeders and catching an unsuspecting chick probably takes less energy then catching a fish or other live prey. We use size to determine the sex of eagles also however in eagles, as in most of the raptor world, it is actually the female that is the bigger of the two.

Shellmo said...

Ecobirder - I learned something new - now when I see the eagles on our lake - I'm going to have to check their sizes carefully!