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Great Northern Loon Eggs Hatching

Like many flowering plants that blossomed two or three weeks early this year, Great Northern Loons (previously called Common Loons) got an early start to their nesting season. While some adults are still sitting on eggs, some chicks can be seen hitching a ride with their parents. Even though chicks can swim as soon as their down dries, their inability to regulate their body temperature for the first two weeks and their need for protection from predators at this vulnerable time, they are brooded on the backs and under the wings of their parents. After a couple of weeks, however, the chicks are under their own steam and can be seen bobbing in the water near their parents.  (Kayakers and photographers — extreme caution should be taken to avoid approaching loon nesting areas too close at this time of year.)

4 responses

  1. Kathie Fiveash

    I hate to think of those snapping turtles lurking below.

    June 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

  2. Libby

    I watched a HUGE snapping turtle, on its back, holding a pretty large bird – I couldn’t tell what kind from the distance….it turned over and went underwater, leaving only a series of air bubbles coming to the top. Nature in action, both difficult and necessary.

    June 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    • What a sighting. I would love to have been there, with binoculars!

      June 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

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