An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Common Loon – Welcome to a photographic journey through the woods, fields and marshes of New England

Find more of my photographs and information similar to that which I post in this blog in my book Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.

JUVENILE COMMON LOON

Remember that 3-ounce black ball of fluff riding on its parent’s back in the beginning of June? In the past 11 weeks loon chicks have grown to resemble their parents in size (if not in plumage), and are well on their way to total independency, if they haven’t reached it already. At about this age juveniles learn to fly, and soon will catch all their own food. Most parent loons will leave their young within the next month and congregate on larger lakes prior to migrating to the New England coast, where most are thought to overwinter. One to three weeks after the parents leave, juveniles will begin their migration.

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3 responses

  1. Kate Guest

    Without their parents how do the juveniles know where to go?

    September 3, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    • That is the $64,000 question — which I cannot answer, I’m afraid.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    • Excellent question. I don’t think even top ornithologists could tell you more than “instinct.” Probably magnetic field, internal clock, geographic features, etc. play into it, but much remains to be learned about this, as far as I know!

      June 22, 2011 at 1:32 am

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