Loons

There’s a wonderful pond/lake near us. There are nineteen islands in the pond.It is ideal ¬†loon habitat. Only electric motors boats, canoes and kayaks are allowed. One can go there early in the morning asnd be assured of seeing loons. In early June, the chicks hatch. From then on until early fall there are usually two loon families at opposite ends of the pond.

Susie McCleary and I took an early spring kayak at the end of April to see what was going on at the pond in 2009. We were rewarded with an incredible display of extreme grooming by one of the adult loons. I took many pictures even though it was a gray windy day. The loon was so preoccupied with its grooming routine that it barely took notice of us in our kayaks.

The grooming was very acrobatic and often completely under water or upside down with legs flapping wildly. I had trouble photographing because at times I was laughing so hard. I felt really fortunate to witness this display. There were two loons at the time. One of them watched while the groomer flapped, dove and preened. At first I thought it was mating behavior but have been told that it is quite normal grooming , though it’s the only time I have seen it.