Another Visit With The Loons

This morning provided better weather for visiting the loons than Friday. I headed out before dawn to see what they were up to. The chicks were ten weeks old this weekend. They’re mostly foraging for themselves now, they can make prolonged dives. But they’re still happy to have their parents rustle up a meal for them.

The morning started with both chicks trying to fly. They’re not yet ready. They give a good try, running across the water trying to gain enough speed to lift off. They still need to grow their flight feathers a bit more before they can takeoff. Soon. Very soon….
Here’s our other chick giving flying a try.
Great form, just not enough lift to get him airborne.
Most attempts to take off are followed by a stretch.
Or, maybe, they’re just taking a bow.
Once again, breakfast was primarily crayfish. I think this is dad inbound with one for the chicks.
Here’s another crayfish for one of the chicks.
The chicks have gotten very good at taking the handoff from their parents, they rarely fumble the food, something they did often when younger.
After feeding, the chicks took a quick nap.
One of our chicks doing a foot wave. I’m not sure why they do this. I’ve heard it suggested that it is to cool their legs and feet. But, water is a better conductor for heat, so I’m skeptical of that explanation. I wonder if it is just a way to stretch their legs.
And each chick gave a good stretch after waking up.
A stretch with a shake of the head.

Know an organization in need of programs? I’ve got several PowerPoint shows, one on the surviving steam locomotives in the US, visiting the puffins on Machias Seal Island, one on getting started with wildlife photography and one on loons. For educators, I’ve got a program about career opportunities in photography. Email for more info.

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  1. Reply
    Martha McDaniel September 4, 2022

    So appreciative of the quality of your photography, and of your interpretive narrative. Thank you so much for sharing, and enriching our lives.

  2. Reply
    Pamela kroutvoss September 4, 2022

    I so enjoy your photography of the loons! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Reply
    Marilyn Blaisdell September 5, 2022

    Sometimes when I’ve seen the foot wave, it seemed like it was a form of distraction. Looking possibly wounded to distract from nest or young ones? Just a thought.
    As always, LOVE the pics of the Fam!!

    • Ian Clark headshot
      Ian Clark September 5, 2022

      I’ve noticed that they seem to do it more frequently when they’re circle dancing with competitors. Also after waking up or preening. But, I haven’t seen any consistent pattern. Guess I’ll have to keep watching.

  4. Reply

    […] UPDATE: I was able to get back out to visit this family again Sunday morning, and the weather was more cooperative. More pix at: Another Visit With The Loons. […]

  5. Reply
    Geoff Emerson September 5, 2022

    Your photos are absolutely marvellous. Thank you so much. I wonder what are the steam trains in your heading.

    • Ian Clark headshot
      Ian Clark August 23, 2023

      Sorry for such a late response. You got flagged as spam. The steam engines in my header are the Grand Canyon Railway’s ex Santa Fe 2-8-0 and 2-8-2.

  6. Reply
    Linde McNamara September 6, 2022

    Your pictures brought light to a cloudy day. What gorgeous pictures. Things we would probably never see with the naked eye….

  7. Reply
    Cathy September 6, 2022

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your photos…so look forward to seeing them. And the educational comment is appreciated.

  8. Reply
    Roger Warren September 6, 2022

    Wonderful up close photo documentary.
    Would you consider a presentation on steam locomotives for the Haverhill Historical Society next summer?

  9. Reply
    david caron September 6, 2022

    great pics on a rainy day here innew haven,ct

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