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Common Loons Returning

common loons back IMG_7494

After spending the winter along the Northeast coast, adult Common Loons are returning to their New England breeding ponds and lakes.  Evidence indicates that photoperiod determines the general timing of their northern migration.  Loons are well known for arriving at their breeding lakes soon after ice out (often returning when lakes are only partly open). How do they time their return so precisely?  Loons often congregate in open bodies of water, including rivers, as they proceed northward. Once they approach their breeding grounds, reconnaissance flights are made from open water to territorial waters to see if the ice is out. Once it is, their migration continues.

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9 responses

  1. Marilyn

    My daughter heard loons on our lake in Central Maine yesterday. The ice has been out for a while, but it’s the first time the camp road has been drive-able.

    April 15, 2016 at 7:58 am

  2. Watching for them here on Lake Sunapee but have not seen any as yet… soon.

    April 15, 2016 at 9:01 am

  3. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Such nice clothes they wear.

    April 15, 2016 at 9:25 am

  4. mariagianferrari

    There is a pair of nesting loons that return each year to the lake where my mother lives outside of Keene, NH. I so love seeing them when I visit, and hearing their eerie night-time calls. They haven’t yet returned as far as I know.

    April 15, 2016 at 10:16 am

  5. Beautiful photo, Mary!

    April 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    • Thanks so much, Eliza. Check out the cartoon from Richard Brown’s comment!

      April 17, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      • Oh, that is just great! 😀 Thanks for pointing it out to me!

        April 17, 2016 at 4:59 pm

  6. Richard Brown

    http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/a19975

    April 17, 2016 at 10:09 am

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