Loons

The sound I associate with hanging out on a lake or pond in the evening in the Adirondacks is the loon. The sounds they make to me are peaceful. I was lucky enough to see loons on two Adirondack lakes in June.

I took this picture from a tour boat during a rain storm.
Location

Where do you find loons? They prefer wooded lakes and ponds with large populations of small fish. They prefer lakes with islands and coves for protection. Both lakes I found them on I would not have spotted them from shore. During the day I found them fishing in the middle of the lakes. One one lake I kayaked around for almost an hour before I caught sight of a pair. On the other lake I was on a tour boat when we spotted one. The Great Lakes region has between 5,000- 7,200 pairs while New England and New York have around 2,250 pairs. Well known for having loons are the New York Adirondacks, Maine, and Minnesota, although other states also have them.

Great Fishermen

Loons are expert at fishing. They can dive as deep as 60 m or 200 feet. They normally dive 4 to 10 meters (13- 33 feet). They swallow their prey underwater. They have powerful back legs that propel them in fast chases underwater.

Loon with one of its powerful back legs in the air. Loons have webbed feet.
Nests

Loons breed in spring and summer. Their nests are shorelines. I heard one loon calling as it got dark from what appeared to be the property of a wealthy person. I respect property and would not trespass. I did kayak by the property on another day, but could not get a good view from the lake to see if there was indeed a nest there.

Sounds

To hear a loon click on the following link. The site is from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ENNzjy8QjU

Here are some other sounds loons make from Birds Inc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2PVTZwap-Q

If you are lucky enough to camp or stay right on a lake in the Adirondacks that has loons, you may be lucky enough to hear them right after the sun goes down. They are an iconic sound of the Adirondacks.

12 thoughts on “Loons”

  1. I just love your pics Sharon! Lions are so peaceful and graceful and their call is such a wonderful sound to hear when either sitting quietly in a canoe or on the beach! Congrats! Your pics, whether you want to admit it or not, are looking more and more professional ❣️ I loved your series on the owls also! You may not hear from me often but I admire you from a not too distant border! Stay safe my friend!!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, we haven’t kayaked since September. My hubby broke his collarbone at the beginning of the year. Our kayak is an inflatable so we can’t take it around oyster beds which is what we have around here. Maybe in the fall, we can take it to some fresh water areas and he will be able to paddle again. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is good to know. We actually took our white water inflatable on the plane with us and paddle the Yellowstone River with it. Frank just hasn’t been able to do the movement. He can’t swing a golf club yet either. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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