See our loon chick!

Other waterfowl on our lake

The Common Loon is a regular visitor and summer resident here at Goose Pond.  Summering on the lake and nesting on the shore,
they move to the ocean when the water here freezes over. 
Their striking summer plumage changes as they prepare for winter on the sea.

See our Loon earrings

Here many different types of loon calls and learn more about them here:  http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/common_loon/sounds

Loon chicks often hitch a ride

A pair in fall  - note the changing plumage

Graceful in the air  and terrific divers and swimmers, loons are clumsy on land, so they nest as close to water as possible, eliminating the need to walk where possible. Nests are built in hollowed-out mounds of dirt and the female may lay 1-3 eggs in it. Both parents work together to built the nest, incubate the eggs for about a month, and feed the hatchlings.   The young chicks can fly in about 11 weeks.   Loons are quite territorial and often only one pair will nest on a given lake or pond, unless it is quite large.

Loons have striking red eyes, black heads and necks, and white striping, checkering, and spotting on their backs. They grow up to three feet (91 centimeters) in length and weigh up to 12 pounds (5 kilograms).
  After breeding season, the bird loses this striking appearance and becomes brown with a white neck.

The Common Loon's dagger-like beak is perfectly adapted for underwater diving and it can dive to depths of 90 ft.  Most loon dives last between 8.5 and 60 seconds. But under stress, loons can remain underwater for three minutes or longer.

During the winter months, loons are fairly quiet but during summer it becomes a noisy bird with quite an impressive range of sounds which many describe as 'haunting wailing', 'yodeling' or 'laughter'. When combined, these sounds are known as a 'tremolo' call and they can be quite overwhelming.

Loons live mainly on fish, such as pike, perch, sunfish, trout and bass, which it catches underwater in lakes. When near the sea, the bird tends to live on rock cod, flounders, herring and sea trout.

Loons Mating ~ David Wagoner

Their necks and their dark heads lifted into a dawn

Blurred smooth by mist, the loons

Beside each other are swimming slowly

In charmed circles, their bodies stretched under water

Through ripples quivering and sweeping apart

The gray sky now held close by the lake's mercurial threshold

Whose face and underface they share

In wheeling and diving tandem, rising together

To swell their breasts like swans, to go breasting forward

With beaks turned down and in, near shore,

Out of sight behind a windbreak of birch and alder,

And now the haunted uprisen wailing call.

And again, and now the beautiful sane laughter.