Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Loony for Loons!

Some of you already know how much I love Loons! It's why I named my log cabin The Loons' Nest. It's why I am collecting Loon decoys. It's why I became a Loon Ranger for my lake. (Yep, I have authority to protect the Loons!) I think nothing exemplifies the call of the wild until you have heard the tremulous wail of the Loon. I am getting anxious for spring which means my beloved Loon pair will be returning. And I have a new pair that landed on my lake this past summer. I plan on being an excellent host for them and will be hopeful for Loon babies!

Here is my Loon decoy that I have placed on my fireplace.

IMG_6280


Common Loons are one of the most loving parents you will ever see! When their babies are very young, they will ride on the backs of their parents for protection. Both the mom and dad feed and take care of their babies.
best mom looking at her babies (2)

The Common Loon needs a long water runway to take off. It is amazing to watch them run across the lake before they take off to fly.
common loon taking off

A few more things about Loons:

  • They can weigh 7 to 12 pounds. The male is larger than the female. The male also has a longer bill.
  • The Common Loon swims underwater to catch fish to eat. They can dive more than 200 feet to find their food!
  • They usually lay 2 eggs.
  • If you come upon a Loon in the water and he rises up and does a loud tremolo call, you are too close and you need to back away.
  • Never disturb or go near a nesting Loon. They are very sensitive and will abandon their nest and their babies will die.
  • Do not use lead sinkers when you fish. If the lead sinker gets lost in the lake and the Loon ingests this, it will die.

32 comments:

Cedar ... said...

Loons are on our pond too. I'm glad you mentioned about the lead sinkers. That's important for people to understand. And about approaching too closely too. Good info Shelley!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Shelley, I think I said this before --but I love that picture of you and your kitty. You look FABULOUS!!!

Now about loons. I have never seen a loon and had never heard of them until I saw that movie with Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, "On Golden Pond." I loved hearing the loons in that movie.

Hugs,
Betsy

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

When ever I think of loons I think of Katherine Hepburn and the movie, On Golden Pond....have you seen it?

Hot Belly Mama said...

Loon Ranger! You're awesome! Now, the decoy. What is that for?

reliv4life said...

wow - I never knew any of that! I do not think I have ever seen a loon in the wild, do we have them in Montana?

Cassie said...

Michele,NW Montana (W of the Continental Divide) has loons...Flathead Lake,Whitefish and around Glacier. We even have loons in our canals here in Phoenix! Shelley,glad to have those facts,as we walk the dogs along the canals & I'd hate to have them destroy a family by scaring them. I do love to watch them dive,but can't figure what they find to eat in a canal?!

George said...

I've never known a Loon Ranger before. Thanks for all the good information about loons.

grammy said...

Cool! That is sad about lead sinkers...I suppose other birds or maybe even fish would eat them )o:

dAwN said...

LOL...the Loon Ranger...love it..

Jen said...

They really are pretty.
Are loons a duck or related to to them? Yes, I am serious.

Shellmo said...

Cedar - how lovely that you have them too!

Betsy - You're going to make my head big w/ all those compliments! LOL! Loons are just the most mysterious and beautiful water bird in my opnion. Their population in on the decline so I'm very interested in protecting them.

Penny- I have seen that movie! Love it! In fact you & Betsy just reminded me - so I ordered it from Amazon so I can have it up at the log cabin.

Hot Belly - my family & friends tease me to no end for being a loon ranger (volunteer job.) The decoy is for decoration and scaring my cat.

Michele - well Cassie says yes! :)

Cassie - they do like to eat small fish. Maybe there are minnows in your canal?

George - My husband keeps asking "where's your badge?"

Grammy - I hope by posting this info - maybe 1 person will see and rethink using a lead sinker.

Dawn - yes - I'm a dork!!

Jen - they are considered a water bird by Cornell. CLose enough to a duck I say!

Judy said...

How beautiful they are. I don't think I have ever seen one, just pictures. Thank you and Marvin for the hello. Anna's doctor put her on a diet because she weighs 11 pounds. I really don't think she is fat, just pleasantly plump.

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

Wow, I love the decoy and I really don't think I've seen or heard a loon before...I'll have to ask Stush:0
Have a great evening,
Rondell

Michelle Dawn said...

I love your photo's. I never new all of that till now. I tagged you for a meme and feel free to grab the award I have on my page also.

This Country Girl said...

You just gave Joy and I a very good nature lesson. See you were just part of our homeschooling day! :) That was very interesting! No wonder you love them so! I love the fact that BOTH the parents care for and feed the babies. I'm not sure I've ever heard the sound they make.

Thanks for sharing this!

Hugs,
Tammy

Constance said...

I always enjoy listening to them in Ontario when we are on vacation in Lake of the Woods. No loons down here in Texas, they'd probably lay hard boiled eggs!
Connie

Deb said...

Loved your "Humour from the Log Cabin post" :-)
Your loon photos are fabulous Shelley! And I love the name of your log cabin too!!

Dawnie said...

I've heard their call and it is very peaceful and neat to hear.

I'm getting excited for spring to for things to come back and spring to life.

Shellmo said...

Judy - Marvin says he could only hope to be 11 pounds one day! lol!

Rondell - I'm going to find a video of one and post it. I was thinking I should've done it earlier.

Hi Michelle - I'll be over to visit!

Tammy - yea! so glad I could be part of yours & joy's schooling today! I'll post a video of one for everybody!

Connie - I am sad when they leave us in late fall and count the days till spring when they return.

Deb =- thank you! My hubby wasn't sure about THE LOONS NEST name - he thought the neighbors would think that meant we were crazy - lol!

Dawnie - I ready for spring too!

Brandi said...

As far as I know, we don't have Loons in this part of Texas. I have never seen one and as much time as we spend on lakes, surely I would have seen one if we had them.

Love the pictures. Did you take those? They are lovely.

Brandi

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I love loons too...
ever since On Golden Pond..

I love your profile pic!!


How's that apple peeler slicer corer??

April said...

I just love your photography! How do you go about taking such awesome pictures? I really don't know if we have loons around here...not sure if I've ever seen them! They sure are pretty, though!

Leedra said...

Love the photo of the loon taking off. So sharp. It is a beautiful bird.

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SandyVTW said...

Loony for Loons? You? Hahaha, you are so funny! XXOO

Misty Romack said...

I have a new found love for the Loon...they are soo beautiful but since I do not live near a water source it's hard to come in contact with the wonderful creatures that live in that type of habitat! Thanks so much for the info, and nature lesson! Love your blogs, simply delightful!

Sharon said...

I love your blog. I love Loons,chickadees and log homes. I have the chickadees and the log home, but I miss the loons. I used to ski at Iron Mtn and have always loved MI. I now live in the west in the foothills of the cascades. I just enjoy your wonderful blog. Marvin is great and I'm sure a Mtn dog is to follow. Sharon

JyLnC said...

Great photos and I love the term Loon Rangers. Very cool!

Shellmo said...

Brandi - Thank you! I did take those photos! :)

Terri - I'm so bad - I need to pull out that apple peeler and get a baking this weekend!! I am excited to have it!

Hi April! my hubby got me a real nice Canon Rebel XTI camera as a birthday gift 2 years ago - I love it! I currently have a new and bigger lens on layaway so I'm hoping my photos improve!

Leedra - I'm hoping this is the year I get my best photos of them!

Sandy - I admit it - I'm a loony bird brain!

Misty - I'm glad you liked them! I find them as magical as seeing a bald eagle in the wild!

Sharon - you & I have so much in common! Are you sure we're not sisters?! LOL! Thank you for your comments and coming by - please come again! I will come visit you too!

JyLync - my husband says I like the term Loon Ranger because I think I'm in charge of something - lol!

Natural Moments said...

I really like your loon decoration. It totally brings out the spirit of the loon.

Catherine Holman said...

They are so beautiful and I love the sounds they make!
Hugs,
Cathie

Jessica said...

It is one of my goals to see a Loon this year....

Mary said...

This is a bird I would love to see. they seem so lovely in the photos and I'm just fascinated by their color patterns.