Listening for the Loons

In the evening I hear the chirp of crickets outside and the occasional thump of a moth against the window screens. Then the eerie call of the loon rises and falls in a tremelo. The sound carries easily across the half mile through the woods from the lake.

At other times, the sound is more of a wail. You can listen to recordings at the loon section of Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They have other calls that are described as a hoot or a yodel. Either those don’t carry as far or our local loons don’t use those calls much. I haven’t heard them.

I was really pleased to get this photo of a loon in Great East Lake. It has a fish in its beak. (photo by Virginia Allain)

I was really pleased to get this photo of a loon in Great East Lake. It has a fish in its beak. (photo by Virginia Allain)

The loons sit low in the water and dive frequently, searching for fish. When we were out in the boat, I took lots of photos of them. It’s tricky to do with the boat going up and down in the water and the loon diving. When they resurface, it can be quite a distance away.

Water drips from the beak of a loon in NH. (photo by Virginia Allain)

Water drips from the beak of a loon in NH. (photo by Virginia Allain)

I wish I had a photo of the very young loon chicks. They ride on the parent’s back sometimes. What I did get are some photos of the not-yet-mature loon.

Here's an adult loon swimming with a young one. (photo by Virginia Allain)

Here’s an adult loon swimming with a young one. (photo by Virginia Allain)

Advertisements

I'm a retired librarian...photographer, online content creator, genealogist, and writer. My passion is convincing people to preserve their family history and to write about their childhood memories.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in birds
4 comments on “Listening for the Loons
  1. Thank you for these lovely images. In my falling-asleep meditation last night, suddenly I found myself floating in the warm waters of a volcano-warmed lake, one I visited many years ago. Your photographs reinforce the peace, safety and feeling of that meditation–and of the real life experience so long ago.

    Gratitude.

  2. Margaret says:

    Virginia, my husband’s parents have a cottage right on a lake in Maine. One of our favorite things to do while we’re there is to watch the loons. Their vocalizations sing us to sleep at night – eerie but beautiful sounds. My husband got a couple of great photos during our most recent trip, but it’s really difficult to get close enough to get good ones. Yours are wonderful!

  3. melrootsnwrites says:

    Virginia, your photos are lovely! I never really knew anything about loons until the movie On Golden Pond. They have such an interesting call.

  4. heytoto says:

    It was quite an experience falling asleep to the sound of the loons at your place, and then hearing them again in the early morning. I’m glad I was lucky enough to see some when we went out on the lake.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: