Loon with chicks

January 13, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Yay, it's Friday and the weekend is here. It's time to relax and unwind before starting it all over again next week. 

This evening I talked to my mom and two of my sisters. My sister Tina was my last call of the day and just like me, she has a camper at a seasonal campground and so naturally part of our discussion was about camp and camping season. We are both itching to get back to our camps, for so many reasons.

One of the things I love about camping season is that I get a different variety of wildlife to photograph compared to what I get at home. Some of the wildlife is right there at my campsite, but then there are also a few locations I like to go to. Some of the locations I hit are by foot on land and others are on different bodies of water in my kayak. One of the best experiences I get to enjoy is kayaking with the common loons. They can be found in Lake George as well as in ponds and lakes throughout the Adirondack region. I've found loons at three different locations, but one is my absolute favorite as it is in the most remote area I've yet to find. The tough thing about it though is that it is a very long dirt road that goes up hill and when there are heavy rains, it washes out and I can't get up there. But, when I can, it is a real treat. And in 2021, I was up there many times. In fact, I had finally gotten photos I kept hoping to get of loons..... loon chicks riding on their parents backs.

Loon chicks can swim and dive as soon as they are hatched, however, they will often ride for free on a parent for many reasons. One because they do snooze a lot and two, they are safer from predators if they are hitching a ride with a parent. The parents are so attentive to them and it's sweet to see the relationship.

Common Loons are aquatic birds and they can be found throughout North America and in the northern regions of Eurasia. They have beautiful color and markings and a very distinct call that distinguishes them from other aquatic birds. In New York State, they can be found in the Adirondack region in spring and summer months, where they will nest and raise their young. They generally migrate south in early fall. Their diets consist mostly of small fish, however, they will all dine on amphibians, crustaceans, and small to mid sized aquatic fauna. Loons are excellent swimmers and very good at flying, however their ability to walk on land is more challenging as their feet are located so far back on their bodies.

They are truly a fun bird to watch and photograph. And it is so cool how they will swim along the side of my kayak. As long as they don't feel threatened, they will just swim along with me as I paddle and they'll put on a great show while I just sit and enjoy them. Here is one of my favorite shots from 2021 when I finally got to witness chicks riding on an adult's back.

Common Loon and ChicksCommon Loon and ChicksAn adult loon swimming in a pond in the Adirondack Mountains with her young on her back. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


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