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Thursday, 18 June 2009


Common loon
(Gavia immer)

Here are two picture of the same bird. The loon on the nest is in its breeding colors and will remain like that until they migrate. The other loon is in its winter plumage.
The loon has a white breast and belly, with dark webbed feet. Loons weigh 2.7 to 6.3 kilograms this is because of their solid bones which is unusual in the bird world.

Common Loons live throughout Canada, from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia, north to the Yukon, Northwest Territory and Nunavut. Common Loons can also be observed in the northeastern United States during the summer months. It is estimated that Ontario has about 65,000 pairs of Common Loons living in the province during the summer months. Near the end of summer, loons will gather on many of larger lakes prior to migration. Adults will usually migrate before young birds, which may need additional time to mature before migration. On warm spring days, Common Loons can be observed flying north in search of ice free water bodies. In many situations, loons may then retreat south should they find ice covered lakes, or should cold wintry weather return. .
Loons feed on fish such as Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass, and assorted smaller fishes usually referred to as "minnows". In addition, some loons feed on naturally fishless lakes, which contain crayfish, frogs, leeches and aquatic insects.Loons hunt by swimming after their prey using their webbed feet. They have been known to dive to depths of 70 metres and stay submerged for more than three minutes, but the average dive is less than five metres deep and 40 to 45 seconds in duration.
Loons have been spotted nesting on different parts of the lake and by the end of July or early June they should hatch!


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