Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Traveling Loon Visits On The First Day Of Spring

   A Red-Throated Loon was passing through the area and popped up for a visit on this first day of spring.  In recent days there has been quite a parade of visitors here along the river since the waterfowl are on the move with the arrival of spring.
Red-throated loon with winter plumage
   I glanced out the window this morning and saw a loon-shaped bird on the river.  I almost broke my neck.... I exclaimed, "What was that.... a loon?"  We rarely see loons around here in Pennsylvania.
Red-throated loon in Pa
  Notice how the Red-throated Loon looks slimmer and perhaps daintier than the Common Loon.   I suppose that's because Red-throated Loon holds its head tilted slightly upward and that accentuates its thin, pointed, upturned bill.
Red-throated loon
This time of year there's no red throat because the loon is still wearing its winter plumage. 
Check out its gray back with its white speckles.
 That's a lot of back.... enough that the loon could barely reach its tail while preening itself.
Upon hearing that I has seen this Red-throated Loon, my daughter commented, "Must have been really cold up in Canada this winter, 'cause we had Snowy Owls and loons around here".
The fishin' is good here... I hope the loon stays awhile.   I haven't heard loon calls in a few years.


  1. I love the call of the loon. And "yes" we are having a banner year for Snowy Owls this year.

    1. Yep, there's nothing quite like hearing a loon laugh especially when the lake's water is lapping at the shore, laughing with the loon...