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Old 08-17-2015, 08:54 AM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Fishing Loons

A couple of weeks ago, mamma loon brought her kids to the pond where our cabin sits. She hung around for a few days and then split; going out for a pack of cigarettes, no doubt.

The curious kids have been constantly fattening up on shiners and perch, often coming very close to us as we recreate on the water. Our closest encounter was yesterday when I was fishing with my youngest daughter.

The two loons, low in the water, swam right at the boat They were diving and slapping the water with their wings. The shiner minnows were darting away, jumping to escape the razor-like bill of the loons. They were no more than five feet away from us as they dove under the boat several times, chasing the luckless school of shiners.

I tried to capture some of the action, with minimal success. You really can't imagine the graceful life and death struggle that was going on right in front of our noses. It was over in a minute of two, as the loons moved off, bellies full, and the minnows retreated to the shallows.

I told my daughter that she's the luckiest 14 yr old as not too many people get to see what she just saw. Good stuff!
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File Type: jpg bt3a loon.JPG (113.6 KB, 131 views)
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:13 PM   #2
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Nice pics. Those are adult loons though, not juveniles. Loons do not receive their adult plumage the first year. At any rate, still a real treat.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:52 PM   #3
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I figured they were young ones because of their curiosity and lack of fear of humans. Thanks for the correction!
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:28 AM   #4
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If loons are not harassed by boats, they will become pretty tolerant of them, as you found out. I have seen them dive right under my boat. They do get upset and try to keep their distance when they have young ones though. They nest on an island on one lake I'm familiar with and the campers give that island a wide berth during the nesting season so they don't get disturbed. When the young ones are real small they keep their distance, but the bigger they get, the less mom & dad seem to worry. The adults will migrate south before the yearlings, which seem to hang out almost until ice up on the lake I'm familiar with.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:52 AM   #5
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We had a pair come within 5 feet or so of our canoes on Lake Abanakee a couple weeks ago ... we just drifted along and they pretty much paid no attention to us.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:34 AM   #6
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http://www.jnphoto.net/New/New/i-Dz9jtzN/0/O/a-9190.jpg

I have been photographing loon families much of the summer, using a comfortable distance from them with a telephoto. So much effort by the parents to catch food. The loon personalities on each lake vary, from very tolerable of people to not at all. Respected this and moved elsewhere if required. these two in photo actually approached me.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:08 PM   #7
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Wow! Grey-Jay, that is a really beautiful picture.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:33 PM   #8
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Fantastic picture. You ought to be able to sell that one!
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