An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Common Loon Chick Update

7-16-14 loon update2 187The fluffy, black loon chick that was the subject of Naturally Curious posts a couple of weeks ago is a month old this week (original photos were taken several days before posting), and it has undergone several transformations. Two weeks ago the black down of the newborn chick was replaced with a second coat of down that is brown in color. Between three to four weeks of age, its body elongated and its bill began to lengthen. In another week or so, the first gray contour and flight feathers will begin to replace the down, a process that takes about three weeks.

Both parents are very attentive and are providing as many fish and crayfish as the chick can consume, sometimes making the chick dive for its meal, sometimes not. Because one egg failed to hatch, the lone chick receives all of both parents’ attention, guaranteeing a full stomach. It isn’t unusual to see both parents dive, come up with fish in their bills, and deliver their catch simultaneously to their chick.

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3 responses

  1. Suzanne Weinberg

    Oh, jeez, who’s watching for snapping turtles if both are out fishing! Great pictures! I see you give credit for “photo opportunity” – I assume that’s if someone calls you to an interesting situation. Does that mean you take most of your own pics? Suzanne

    July 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    • Yes, Suzanne, if I credit someone for the photo op, it means I’ve stumbled upon it myself. If I credit someone, it’s either that I took the photo on their land, and usually they’ve made me aware of it. I am always grateful for calls alerting me to anything and everything. Occasionally I will publish a photo taken by someone else, but it has to be something I know I will never have the opportunity to photograph and I always give the photographer credit and make sure readers know that I didn’t take it!

      July 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm

  2. I love the water beading on the adult’s head – such a beautiful, exquisitely-plumed bird!

    July 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm

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