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Loons Nesting

Many of the images and much of the information in this blog can be found in my book, Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.


Since their return to the north country, many common loons have paired, mated, selected a nesting site, built their nest, layed their two military-green speckled eggs and are now sharing the incubation of those eggs. Due to the position of their legs (extremely far back on their body) loons have great prowess as divers, but very little when it comes to walking. Thus, their nest sites are usually at the very edge of an island or hummock, where they can easily slip on and off the nest into the water. The 3 ½-inch-long eggs are laid in a mound nest constructed of vegetation growing nearby. Successful nest sites (from which loon chicks fledge) are often reused from year to year. Extreme caution should be taken to remain far from an active nest, as loons are easily disturbed.

3 responses

  1. What a picture!!!! I have never seen a loon sitting on a nest. How beautiful they are!! Thank you so much for sharing this magnificent picture. She seems so exposed, no shelter from rain and wind. How long does it take for the eggs to hatch?

    June 10, 2010 at 10:31 am

    • 27 days, generally…they aren’t always as exposed as this one — mighty small hummock for a mighty big nest!

      June 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

  2. Susan Holland

    I do think this may be one of your best loon shots ever! For all the time I spend on a lake in NW Ontario that is inhabited by loons, I have never seen one on the nest. Thank you for sharing the images from your long lens with us (as I know you would never go near enough to the nest to disturb the loons.)

    June 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm

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