Until my love affair with the Bald Eagles started, my favourite bird was the loon. It still thrills me to see them and I even delayed going to see the eaglets on Sunday morning because I was enchanted by a loon family in our bay. I got to see a parent give the baby a fish, which was rather special.
The baby was with a parent and I suddenly saw it taking off towards the other parent, where a newly caught fish was being offered.
After taking the fish it was interesting to watch the interaction between them.
It was almost like the parent was talking to the baby and explaining how it is done.
Down went baby’s head and the parent seemed to be encouraging it, “That’s right, look down and see what you can catch now.”
Baby loons are little bundles of brown fluff and don’t look at all like the adults.
They are very cute, especially when they are learning how to do things like preen and bathe. Daily preening is necessary to keep their feathers aligned, waterproofed and in good condition. They secrete oil at the base of the tail and work it through all of their feathers. The oil helps keep the feathers in place to keep the water away from their skin. A loon will often roll onto its side or back to pull the breast and belly feathers through its bill. One leg usually comes out of the water and it is quite comical to watch!
Loons will often flap their wings during and at the end of preening sessions. Watching the baby loon doing this was extremely cute!
Preening sessions can sometimes last 30 minutes and I must have sat for at least that long watching the show it put on for me.
You have to learn to get it right if you don’t want a bop on the head!
Keeping a little distance is sometimes a good thing.
And in time it will become an elegant adult, so beautifully graceful, with a heart melting song.