Baby Loon Tries to Fly

What is a nice body of water to kayak or canoe one and see loons? I have been to Fish Creek Pond a few times in the Adirondack Mountains of NY. Each time I have seen mother and her baby. I have never seen the father.

This is an August photo.

The first time I spotted these two in August the mother was still bringing a lot of fish to the baby although the baby was trying to go under water in pursuit of fish itself. This baby appeared to be older and larger than the other loon babies I saw on other lakes and ponds.

In September, the mother was not bringing much fish to the baby. I only witnessed one. It was leaving the baby mostly to its own devices. The baby was fishing a lot.

Flying Practice

Then, I heard the mother call from the other side of the pond, and the baby stopped fishing and swam further down the pond, turned and faced the wind and tried to fly. (I was thinking the mother said the wind is good, stop and practice flying. ) The baby went back down the pond and tried again and again. It was flapping its wings attempting to walk on the water at the same time. It came close to going totally airborne.

After going further down the pond it raised itself up and started flapping its wings attempting to fly.
You can see here it is running on top of the water while flapping its wings.
I wasn’t totally pleased with these actions shots, but with the wind and water movement sitting in a kayak I am just happy to have observed and captured this.
Almost up!
I have a growing audience. I guess I will try again. Wish me luck!

Then it went back to fishing. It complained weakly. Not sure if the baby was discouraged by its flying attempts. The mother came by and brought the baby a fish. Either it was a reward for the flying attempts, encouragement, or the baby still needed a little help getting food.

Pretty soon the adult loons fly off and leave the babies behind. It’s important they fish for themselves. They will practice many times swimming to the far end of a pond, facing the wind, and attempting to fly. Eventually they do. Because they are such big birds they need a lot of space for their take off. They will join other loons further south after they figure it all out.

29 thoughts on “Baby Loon Tries to Fly”

      1. Yes I’ve been in Florida for 33 years. We are very aware of our surroundings whether we are in the kayak or on land. It is rare that a gator attacks a kayak. It is more likely for your dog to get snatched on the banks by a gator. We are careful and alert everywhere we go including swimming in the Atlantic. We were out in it a couple of weeks ago when tarpon was spotted. Always…where there’s tarpon, there are sharks. We didn’t stay in long. Plus there was schools of bait fish everywhere. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! Up the Hudson River. That’s kinda crazy, isn’t it? If we didn’t paddle because of gators, the boat would never get in the water. You can have a puddle 2 feet deep on the side of the road and there could be a gator in it. In Florida, where there’s water, there is a chance a gator isn’t far away.

        Liked by 1 person

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