a Common Loon passes through

I don’t really go “birding” on a regular basis. That is, setting out to a natural area with equipment, guidebooks, and a firm intent on locating something. I’m usually more of the incidental birder, or monitoring for a specific pair or population. ButI do like to write here about birds whenever possible.

I was working in the greenhouse earlier this week and heard the unmistakable call of the Common Loon. At first I was thinking… why did they add a Loon sound to the podcast I’m listening to? That didn’t make sense. I stepped outside and heard it call again. Common Loons around here aren’t, well, that uncommon. But they aren’t as friendly as Mallards and they are only migrating through to their breeding grounds a couple hundred miles to the north. As such, I rarely see them and I don’t think they tend to vocalize when they are just resting on a lake during their journey. It was the first time I heard one in Indiana. I wasn’t able to record the vocalization, but I did get some shots of it putting around, preening, and relaxing.

You can read more about the life history of the Common Loon here.

I was joined in the observation by Maria Center’s own intrepid naturalist, Elsa. Since she lives here, I like to think of her as my own eyes and ears in the twilight hours of the day when I’m home with my family. There are a lot of occurrences that seem to happen around dusk and I always love hearing about the goings-on from her. It was nice to share this moment with her.

Elsa and I went out to the lake in January to observe the strange arcing lines across the frozen surface.

Here are a couple still photos. I used my phone to take a photo through a spotting scope at about 200 yds. It’s definitely not “wildlife photography” but it allows me to accurately ID different creatures and observe their behaviors.

3 Replies to “a Common Loon passes through”

  1. Linda Volk

    You are right, Elsa is spot-on with her observations and consciousness of what is around her. I so enjoy her “diary” in the Ripples publication. Thank you for your sharings too.

  2. Mary

    Very nice, both of you. This is not as uncommon as you might think as i recall years when
    we waited for their arrival.

  3. Ellen Dodge

    Thanks for the loon info. I especially loved listening to the variety of calls & songs. I have seen loons in the distance in the past, but I’ve never heard them. I really enjoy the updates on wildlife & plants.


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