Double in size, every week, a baby Loon’s goal!

What a difference a week makes, how is that even possible I wondered, until I sat in the canoe and watched Father bring fish, after fish, after little fish, basically non-stop for half an hour! Now, if only it was cake, I’d want to be a baby loon;) ha! Even I didn’t get that much fish as a kid, and it’s all we ate it seemed! Sigh…so much care in their little ones’ upbringing. I saw them on the far side of the bay, it was almost flat calm in the lee of the trees so I had to paddle over and check up on Junior.

Did you know unlike adult loons, a young loon chick is able to walk upright on land. Although they can swim immediately after hatching, chicks spend a lot of time riding on their parents’ backs during the first several days of their lives. What a great warm taxi! Junior looked like he was involved in some fishing lessons from the surface!

I always paddle over slowly, stop, set down my paddle, and drift, the wind was slowly pushing me away. I watch their body language, it’s pretty obvious if you have gotten too close. Father popped up right beside the canoe several times, checked me out, then dove again, mostly harmless was his reaction…

At times the small fish were placed in baby’s beak, at other times Father would toss them to him, learning to play catch apparently! At about three weeks of age, Loon chick bodies begin to change and elongate. Their bills also begin to lengthen. Juvenile feathers begin to develop on white underparts. As their bodies grow and begin to take on the characteristic shape of loons, they lose the ability to walk upright on land.

I didn’t think Father was going to stop but eventually he dove, and disappeared, time for some refueling on his own I thought! I saw them earlier this week at dusk, the baby was even bigger! I’ll have to get out once the weather settles, did I mention I saw a lightning bolt strike the water right out in front of our house? We are up on the rocks so I could see quite clearly, it then radiated out from the strike point like a starburst of electricity. My eyes must have been huge, Mike was asking if I was OK, No, I said I wasn’t, holy f*ck! That, and the boom of simultaneous thunder had me levitating from my seat, along with the cats that scrambled for cover. I was wondering if any fish had gotten zapped, but it seems that before a lightning strike, a charge builds up along the water’s surface. When it does strike, most of the electrical discharge occurs near the water’s surface, not underneath where the fish are. I wondered as the Osprey was out flying in the rain and rumbling right after, looking for a bbq-ed fish I thought! Hopefully, baby Loon is OK!

Father didn’t reappear so I slowly paddled back home, leaving Mom and Junior to do some fishing on their own! I just love those colours when the sun hits her neck!

I will give you a junior progress update next time they cruise by! In the meantime, abrazos amigos, stay as loony as you can!

2 thoughts on “Double in size, every week, a baby Loon’s goal!

  1. We were out on the lake on Saturday but nary a loon to be seen…….except for the ones in the kayaks that is!

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