Loon in Rough Water

The agitated waters off the west side of the park didn’t faze this loon in the slightest. I think it’s a Common Loon, basically because its bill is not as slender as the Pacific Loon and the Red-throated Loon, both of which have also been seen here, and it holds its beak level. But I could be wrong.

I usually see waterbirds in calm or rippled water, and I don’t think about where they go and what they do when the wind roughs up the surface. Judging by this and some other sights, these birds do just fine. Since they dive for a living — they can go down 200 feet — getting swamped by a wave would not be a big deal.

These loons spend the summer breeding and nesting across Canada. Their image is engraved on the Canadian dollar, the “loonie.” When northern territory freezes up, they fly south at speeds up to 75 mph, and spend the winter on both coasts and big inland lakes. While breeding they are sociable, form stable pair bonds, and gather in flocks, but tend to be solitary in their winter haunts.

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Links: Wikipedia Audubon Cornell

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