Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2001 Loon Update

We had several good opportunities to observe the loons this weekend, as they made the rounds each morning.  The loon chick has just about become a juvenile.  It has molted almost all of its baby fuzz, and has taken on some of the markings of an adult, although with much lighter shading on the darker markings. 

Looking Adult-like

Only a few tufts of baby fuzz left to molt

And it is behaving a lot like a teenage too.  It seems perfectly happy to lounge on the lake surface while mom or dad goes off to work, diving again and again for food, just watching until dinner is brought to the table (I hope my kids aren't reading this  ; ).  Although, I do have to say, today, it did quite bit of diving as well, though I never saw it come up with a fish.  And like a teenager, it is getting almost as large as its parents - when you see it alone on the surface at a distance, its hard to tell whether its an adult or not.

Waiting for dinner
We did see the adult come up from one dive with a good size perch.  It spent a few minutes playing with it on the surface, dropping, and recapturing it before swallowing it down.  Maybe it doesn't like the feel of a live, flapping fish down in its stomach!  The juvenile seemed to know it wasn't for him/her, as it never even approached the adult when it came up with this one.
Watching a big fish

We did not see the entire family together at all this weekend - there was always only one adult with the juvenile, but we have no idea if it's always the same parent, or whether they are sharing responsibilities.

Wave Goodbye!

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