Loon Survey 2015
Loon Survey 2015

As I did last year, I will be helping Biodiversities Research Institute (http://www.briloon.org) monitor the common loon population at Quabbin. We conduct weekly surveys to keep track of the local loon population. From time to time I will stick a few updated photos here.

Loons are back on Quabbin 4/17/15
Loons are back on Quabbin 4/17/15

This is a long distance photo but I took it today on 4/19/15.  The loons are back and the numbers should be building over the next month.  Surveys will start on early May.

How do we keep track of individual loons ?
How do we keep track of individual loons ?

Here is a heavily cropped photo of a common loon landing in the early morning and you can see her bands on her legs.  These will be used to tell where this bird came from and where it has been and lots of territorial info about this bird. 4/23/15

Loons 2015
Loons 2015

This is  the flying loon in the last photo. She was working the shore today when I stumbled upon her fishing. We checked the band data base and it tells us she and her mate raised a chick in  Moore Island / Snell Island territory last year.  4/24/15

Leg bands
Leg bands

Here is the same female taken at the same location as the landing shot, only a month later.  You can also see the white feathers in the face around the beak. 5/13/15

Cruising along on a spring day.
Cruising along on a spring day.

I took this early this morning as a pair of loons worked their way up a channel along side some green conifer trees, thus the green reflection in the water. Not a photo you will see to often!  5/4/15

Yumm Yumm
Yumm Yumm

Loons eat fish but once in a while they will grab something off the bottom that looks good. I watched this one eat 2 or 3 crayfish for breakfast,,,5/4/15

Beak colors
Beak colors

Most loons beaks are black but some will vary in color.  5/14/15

Taking a break
Taking a break

These loons were actively fishing and took a break to move along. The female is on the right.  5/14/15

Here are the same loons that are in the previous photo
Here are the same loons that are in the previous photo

I  went in on foot looking for them and found them in a small cove. The female is in the back. Maybe looking for a place to nest or just puttering about on a sunny spring day.  5/18/15

Early bird ...
Early bird ...

Quabbin loon in the early morning sunlight.  5/21/15

Loon yawn  !!  (no kidding)  5/21/15
Loon yawn !! (no kidding) 5/21/15
Male loon
Male loon

A beautiful male loon in the early morning Quabbin sunshine. Taken from over 100 yards away and cropped with 1.3X in the camera,  Then cropped again in Lightroom 5.  Its important to stay  away from these guys as far as possible.   6/3/15

 

Penguin dance
Penguin dance

A female loon defends her territory against another loon intruding in the early morning fog on the Quabbin Reservoir.  These birds are great to have on the Quabbin but are still considered "endangered" in Massachusetts by Masswildlife.  This was taken from about 100 yards away also.  6/3/15

Common loon and chick
Common loon and chick

This little puff of coal is a day old common loon chick taken on July 2nd, 2015 in the west branch of Fever brook cove.

family portrait
family portrait

This is the same chick with both parents.  Quabbin Reservoir, 7/2/15

a good stretch
a good stretch

Loons love a good stretch of the wings and a good wing flap after a dive or preening.  Quabbin Reservoir,  7/2/15

nesting loon
nesting loon

Because loons legs are far back on their body, they can not walk.  They pull themselves out of the water and just pull brush and moss around them to make a bowl for a nest.  Quabbin Reservoir, 7/2/15

common loon
common loon

A loon preens in the summer sun at Quabbin,  6/26/15

The end !
The end !

Common loons usually end preening sessions with a stretch and and a flap of the wings that can be seen for quite a ways on the water.  6/26/16

Loons
Loons

A group of common loons are just having a good chat together at Quabbin.  6/26/15

Loons
Loons

A pair of loons floating about Quabbin. You can see the leg band identification on the right hand side of the photo on the rear leg.  You gotta love loons !  6/26/15

Common Loon family
Common Loon family

A pair of common loons with their chick that are about 3 weeks old.  July is chick time for both loons and eagles at Quabbin.   7/21/15

Three week old loon chicks and dad.
Three week old loon chicks and dad.
Another lazy Quabbin summer afternoon for a newly hatched 3 day old chick
Another lazy Quabbin summer afternoon for a newly hatched 3 day old chick
  A day old loon chick hooks a warm ride with dad under his wing.  They will do this for 2 weeks or so after hatching.   7/29/15

A day old loon chick hooks a warm ride with dad under his wing.  They will do this for 2 weeks or so after hatching.   7/29/15

  Common loons need a long way to take off from the surface of the water.  Here is a loon getting up speed to take off.  You can see the research bands on this legs of this bird....  7/6/16

Common loons need a long way to take off from the surface of the water.  Here is a loon getting up speed to take off.  You can see the research bands on this legs of this bird....  7/6/16

   Down the hatch !! well, maybe. We saw this female loon struggling with a sunfish this morning at Quabbin. When we left her she was still working on the fish. When we returned to the area 3 hours later she was still there but the fish was gone. This was taken with a Nikon D810 and a Nikon 200-500mm lens. 

Down the hatch !! well, maybe. We saw this female loon struggling with a sunfish this morning at Quabbin. When we left her she was still working on the fish. When we returned to the area 3 hours later she was still there but the fish was gone. This was taken with a Nikon D810 and a Nikon 200-500mm lens. 

A common loons calls to another loon. You've probably heard them but have you ever seen them doing it?  7/29/15
A common loons calls to another loon. You've probably heard them but have you ever seen them doing it? 7/29/15
  Young loons stretching their muscles.  They will do this all of their lives.  These two are 4 weeks old.   7/29/15

Young loons stretching their muscles.  They will do this all of their lives.  These two are 4 weeks old.   7/29/15

  Just like the young ones.  This also helps them realign their feathers after preening and diving.  7/29/15

Just like the young ones.  This also helps them realign their feathers after preening and diving.  7/29/15

  A flying loon at the Quabbin Reservoir.  Note the research bands on this birds legs.  7/14/16

A flying loon at the Quabbin Reservoir.  Note the research bands on this birds legs.  7/14/16

  A female loon takes off.  It takes a loon about 50 yards to get airborne. Here this female heads back to the male with the two chicks back in their territory at Quabbin.  Notice the colored bands on her legs used by researchers for identification.  8/12/15

A female loon takes off.  It takes a loon about 50 yards to get airborne. Here this female heads back to the male with the two chicks back in their territory at Quabbin.  Notice the colored bands on her legs used by researchers for identification.  8/12/15

Mom and chick loon
Mom and chick loon

A common loon and her chick eating breakfast at Quabbin. This chick in 9 weeks old.  9/28/15

Loons tangle
Loons tangle

Here is the female loon and mother of the chick in the last photo driving an immature loon who dropped in for a visit away  from her chick. These encounters can some times be intense with injures to either birds. 9/28/15

The "penguin dance" !
The "penguin dance" !

The female loon here is puffing itself up to look larger and chasing the young loon away. The young loon can't get away fast enough!!   9/28/15

Juvenile loon.
Juvenile loon.

A juvenile loon bobs about on the windy Quabbin Reservoir on October 1st.  This bird is probably a year old. It was once thought that young loons spent the first 2 years at sea. New research shows that some don't. Some come back inland after 6 or 8 months at sea. 

An adult loon shaking off excess water after a dive.  10/30/13
An adult loon shaking off excess water after a dive. 10/30/13
The 4 month old chick yawning !  10/30/15
The 4 month old chick yawning ! 10/30/15
Booth the adult and the chick together early this morning on Quabbin.  10/30/15
Booth the adult and the chick together early this morning on Quabbin. 10/30/15
This four month old loon chick popped up with a crayfish right beside the rock I was sitting on.  I was in the right place at the right time….10/28/15
This four month old loon chick popped up with a crayfish right beside the rock I was sitting on. I was in the right place at the right time….10/28/15
Five month old loon
Five month old loon

Here's the loon I was watching when the bear in the previous photo popped out of the woods.  This is also the same loon thats further on in these pictures.  When loons are actively feeding they will swim between dives with their  beaks partially open.  11/10/15

  While watching loons this morning at Quabbin I saw this loon try to drop by for a visit with an adult that had her chick with her... as you can see it wasn't a good idea!! This is the quick getaway from the visitor. Loons will wing their way across the water instead of flying when it comes to a quick getaways.... Quabbin Reservoir 11/16/15

While watching loons this morning at Quabbin I saw this loon try to drop by for a visit with an adult that had her chick with her... as you can see it wasn't a good idea!! This is the quick getaway from the visitor. Loons will wing their way across the water instead of flying when it comes to a quick getaways.... Quabbin Reservoir 11/16/15

  A 6 month old loon chick testing the wings before the ice forms on the Quabbin for the winter.  11/29/15

A 6 month old loon chick testing the wings before the ice forms on the Quabbin for the winter.  11/29/15

6 month old loon
6 month old loon

A 6 month old loon races away from its mother with about a 6 inch yellow perch.  Loons seem to catch lots of yellow perch at Quabbin.  12/4/15

Last loon pic of 2016
Last loon pic of 2016

This chick was born on July 29th, 2015 and is still hanging about its parents territory where it was raised.  The parents have left for the coast.  This chick will be gone itself any day now.....  12/31/15

Loons are gone from Quabbin for the winter.
Loons are gone from Quabbin for the winter.

The loons have all left the Quabbin for the winter. The chicks are the last to leave and they leave a few days before the ice sets in.  The adults will return in early April for the summer of 2016 breeding season. 2015 was a record season  for successful chicks being fledged.  

  An adult loon at Quabbin cruising along on a calm summers day.  Did I mention I love these birds !  7/8/16

An adult loon at Quabbin cruising along on a calm summers day.  Did I mention I love these birds !  7/8/16

  A juvenile loon finishes off a preen at the Quabbin Reservoir with a good shake to get all the feathers realigned.  7/6/16

A juvenile loon finishes off a preen at the Quabbin Reservoir with a good shake to get all the feathers realigned.  7/6/16

  Its that time of year when the loons at Quabbin are starting to group up after nesting. These birds have either failed nesting , lost chicks to predation of just didnt nest.  Its common to see groups of up to ten loons hanging out together. Taken on todays loon survey. 8/8/16

Its that time of year when the loons at Quabbin are starting to group up after nesting. These birds have either failed nesting , lost chicks to predation of just didnt nest.  Its common to see groups of up to ten loons hanging out together. Taken on todays loon survey. 8/8/16

   Here's a shot of a common loon taken today on the Quabbin Reservoir. Most shots I see are all side shots of loons. Here's one you don't see to often.  8/17/18

Here's a shot of a common loon taken today on the Quabbin Reservoir. Most shots I see are all side shots of loons. Here's one you don't see to often.  8/17/18

  A pair of loons preening and shaking to straighten the feathers back aligned where they should be. They are in their winter plumage right now and will soon be heading out to the coast for the winter.  11/15/16

A pair of loons preening and shaking to straighten the feathers back aligned where they should be. They are in their winter plumage right now and will soon be heading out to the coast for the winter.  11/15/16

  It wont be long before the common loons all head for the coast for the winter.  There are still some hanging in there at Quabbin.  Note the beautiful black and white checkered breeding plumage has all disappeared until spring. 11/27/16

It wont be long before the common loons all head for the coast for the winter.  There are still some hanging in there at Quabbin.  Note the beautiful black and white checkered breeding plumage has all disappeared until spring. 11/27/16

  I spent 3 hours this morning watching 5 loons interact with each other.  I was very comical and they were very vocal.  He's one at the end of a preening session. In a month they will be heading to the coast for the winter. Notice their breeding plumage has disappeared for the winter. 11/3/16

I spent 3 hours this morning watching 5 loons interact with each other.  I was very comical and they were very vocal.  He's one at the end of a preening session. In a month they will be heading to the coast for the winter. Notice their breeding plumage has disappeared for the winter. 11/3/16

  Loons will be on the Quabbin until late December.  I watched a group of 9 this morning.  Now they have lost their bright breeding plumage and are a dull brown and white. I guess this loon didnt know Quabbin is closed for fishing now until next April.  10/26/16

Loons will be on the Quabbin until late December.  I watched a group of 9 this morning.  Now they have lost their bright breeding plumage and are a dull brown and white. I guess this loon didnt know Quabbin is closed for fishing now until next April.  10/26/16

  The second week of loon surveys found these three loons just hanging out and fishing together on a warm, calm, late spring afternoon.  I love these birds!  

The second week of loon surveys found these three loons just hanging out and fishing together on a warm, calm, late spring afternoon.  I love these birds!  

  Another pair of common loons fishing on another part of Quabbin and the female struck it rich!  A beautiful rainbow trout that went down the hatch all at once !  

Another pair of common loons fishing on another part of Quabbin and the female struck it rich!  A beautiful rainbow trout that went down the hatch all at once !  

  I met a couple old friends this morning. These are two of the loons that are mated in the north part of the Quabbin back on their territory again after a few years on the same place.  I was able to see their ID bands on their legs for certain confirmation.  Spring is really here !   4/19/17

I met a couple old friends this morning. These are two of the loons that are mated in the north part of the Quabbin back on their territory again after a few years on the same place.  I was able to see their ID bands on their legs for certain confirmation.  Spring is really here !   4/19/17

  A family of 2 adult loons with their 4 day old babies start the 2017 summer off with great weather. Lets hope they make it through the summer until they can fly in the fall.  6/28/17

A family of 2 adult loons with their 4 day old babies start the 2017 summer off with great weather. Lets hope they make it through the summer until they can fly in the fall.  6/28/17

  First loon survey since I got back from Cape Breton and this one was waving hello to me !   I never get sick of these birds....  6/21/17

First loon survey since I got back from Cape Breton and this one was waving hello to me !   I never get sick of these birds....  6/21/17

  Yesterday was weekly loon survey day at Quabbin.  The loons are starting to gather up. These are birds that failed this season nesting or never started. We saw 9 birds in one flock.  7/14/15

Yesterday was weekly loon survey day at Quabbin.  The loons are starting to gather up. These are birds that failed this season nesting or never started. We saw 9 birds in one flock.  7/14/15

  The weekly common loon surveys started today at Quabbin,  We found a group of 8 loons and this loon popped up with his lunch, a crawfish, right in front of us.  5/17/17

The weekly common loon surveys started today at Quabbin,  We found a group of 8 loons and this loon popped up with his lunch, a crawfish, right in front of us.  5/17/17

  Here is Whitey on September 13th.  He and his mate were about 1/2 mile apart and he had one chick.  The other chick disappeared sometime in the last 2 weeks.  As we drove away from these 2 loons an eagle flew over them and landed in a birch tree so it could watch them closer.  9/13/17

Here is Whitey on September 13th.  He and his mate were about 1/2 mile apart and he had one chick.  The other chick disappeared sometime in the last 2 weeks.  As we drove away from these 2 loons an eagle flew over them and landed in a birch tree so it could watch them closer.  9/13/17

  AND HERE THEY WERE WITH THE CHICKS JUST A FEW DAYS OLD:  On the weekly loon survey yesterday we had a boat breakdown in this loons territory.  While we were looking at the motor trying to figure out the problem my favorite Quabbin loon we call Whitey came floating by with his 2, 2 day old chicks on his back and then floated off again...... it was a pleasant surprise !  8/2/17

AND HERE THEY WERE WITH THE CHICKS JUST A FEW DAYS OLD:  On the weekly loon survey yesterday we had a boat breakdown in this loons territory.  While we were looking at the motor trying to figure out the problem my favorite Quabbin loon we call Whitey came floating by with his 2, 2 day old chicks on his back and then floated off again...... it was a pleasant surprise !  8/2/17

  Dad brings home the bacon.....errr.... crawfish.........loon survey....8/17/17

Dad brings home the bacon.....errr.... crawfish.........loon survey....8/17/17

Loon Survey 2015
Loons are back on Quabbin 4/17/15
How do we keep track of individual loons ?
Loons 2015
Leg bands
Cruising along on a spring day.
Yumm Yumm
Beak colors
Taking a break
Here are the same loons that are in the previous photo
Early bird ...
Loon yawn  !!  (no kidding)  5/21/15
Male loon
Penguin dance
Common loon and chick
family portrait
a good stretch
nesting loon
common loon
The end !
Loons
Loons
Common Loon family
Three week old loon chicks and dad.
Another lazy Quabbin summer afternoon for a newly hatched 3 day old chick
  A day old loon chick hooks a warm ride with dad under his wing.  They will do this for 2 weeks or so after hatching.   7/29/15
  Common loons need a long way to take off from the surface of the water.  Here is a loon getting up speed to take off.  You can see the research bands on this legs of this bird....  7/6/16
   Down the hatch !! well, maybe. We saw this female loon struggling with a sunfish this morning at Quabbin. When we left her she was still working on the fish. When we returned to the area 3 hours later she was still there but the fish was gone. This was taken with a Nikon D810 and a Nikon 200-500mm lens. 
A common loons calls to another loon. You've probably heard them but have you ever seen them doing it?  7/29/15
  Young loons stretching their muscles.  They will do this all of their lives.  These two are 4 weeks old.   7/29/15
  Just like the young ones.  This also helps them realign their feathers after preening and diving.  7/29/15
  A flying loon at the Quabbin Reservoir.  Note the research bands on this birds legs.  7/14/16
  A female loon takes off.  It takes a loon about 50 yards to get airborne. Here this female heads back to the male with the two chicks back in their territory at Quabbin.  Notice the colored bands on her legs used by researchers for identification.  8/12/15
Mom and chick loon
Loons tangle
The "penguin dance" !
Juvenile loon.
An adult loon shaking off excess water after a dive.  10/30/13
The 4 month old chick yawning !  10/30/15
Booth the adult and the chick together early this morning on Quabbin.  10/30/15
This four month old loon chick popped up with a crayfish right beside the rock I was sitting on.  I was in the right place at the right time….10/28/15
Five month old loon
  While watching loons this morning at Quabbin I saw this loon try to drop by for a visit with an adult that had her chick with her... as you can see it wasn't a good idea!! This is the quick getaway from the visitor. Loons will wing their way across the water instead of flying when it comes to a quick getaways.... Quabbin Reservoir 11/16/15
  A 6 month old loon chick testing the wings before the ice forms on the Quabbin for the winter.  11/29/15
6 month old loon
Last loon pic of 2016
Loons are gone from Quabbin for the winter.
  An adult loon at Quabbin cruising along on a calm summers day.  Did I mention I love these birds !  7/8/16
  A juvenile loon finishes off a preen at the Quabbin Reservoir with a good shake to get all the feathers realigned.  7/6/16
  Its that time of year when the loons at Quabbin are starting to group up after nesting. These birds have either failed nesting , lost chicks to predation of just didnt nest.  Its common to see groups of up to ten loons hanging out together. Taken on todays loon survey. 8/8/16
   Here's a shot of a common loon taken today on the Quabbin Reservoir. Most shots I see are all side shots of loons. Here's one you don't see to often.  8/17/18
  A pair of loons preening and shaking to straighten the feathers back aligned where they should be. They are in their winter plumage right now and will soon be heading out to the coast for the winter.  11/15/16
  It wont be long before the common loons all head for the coast for the winter.  There are still some hanging in there at Quabbin.  Note the beautiful black and white checkered breeding plumage has all disappeared until spring. 11/27/16
  I spent 3 hours this morning watching 5 loons interact with each other.  I was very comical and they were very vocal.  He's one at the end of a preening session. In a month they will be heading to the coast for the winter. Notice their breeding plumage has disappeared for the winter. 11/3/16
  Loons will be on the Quabbin until late December.  I watched a group of 9 this morning.  Now they have lost their bright breeding plumage and are a dull brown and white. I guess this loon didnt know Quabbin is closed for fishing now until next April.  10/26/16
  The second week of loon surveys found these three loons just hanging out and fishing together on a warm, calm, late spring afternoon.  I love these birds!  
  Another pair of common loons fishing on another part of Quabbin and the female struck it rich!  A beautiful rainbow trout that went down the hatch all at once !  
  I met a couple old friends this morning. These are two of the loons that are mated in the north part of the Quabbin back on their territory again after a few years on the same place.  I was able to see their ID bands on their legs for certain confirmation.  Spring is really here !   4/19/17
  A family of 2 adult loons with their 4 day old babies start the 2017 summer off with great weather. Lets hope they make it through the summer until they can fly in the fall.  6/28/17
  First loon survey since I got back from Cape Breton and this one was waving hello to me !   I never get sick of these birds....  6/21/17
  Yesterday was weekly loon survey day at Quabbin.  The loons are starting to gather up. These are birds that failed this season nesting or never started. We saw 9 birds in one flock.  7/14/15
  The weekly common loon surveys started today at Quabbin,  We found a group of 8 loons and this loon popped up with his lunch, a crawfish, right in front of us.  5/17/17
  Here is Whitey on September 13th.  He and his mate were about 1/2 mile apart and he had one chick.  The other chick disappeared sometime in the last 2 weeks.  As we drove away from these 2 loons an eagle flew over them and landed in a birch tree so it could watch them closer.  9/13/17
  AND HERE THEY WERE WITH THE CHICKS JUST A FEW DAYS OLD:  On the weekly loon survey yesterday we had a boat breakdown in this loons territory.  While we were looking at the motor trying to figure out the problem my favorite Quabbin loon we call Whitey came floating by with his 2, 2 day old chicks on his back and then floated off again...... it was a pleasant surprise !  8/2/17
  Dad brings home the bacon.....errr.... crawfish.........loon survey....8/17/17
Loon Survey 2015

As I did last year, I will be helping Biodiversities Research Institute (http://www.briloon.org) monitor the common loon population at Quabbin. We conduct weekly surveys to keep track of the local loon population. From time to time I will stick a few updated photos here.

Loons are back on Quabbin 4/17/15

This is a long distance photo but I took it today on 4/19/15.  The loons are back and the numbers should be building over the next month.  Surveys will start on early May.

How do we keep track of individual loons ?

Here is a heavily cropped photo of a common loon landing in the early morning and you can see her bands on her legs.  These will be used to tell where this bird came from and where it has been and lots of territorial info about this bird. 4/23/15

Loons 2015

This is  the flying loon in the last photo. She was working the shore today when I stumbled upon her fishing. We checked the band data base and it tells us she and her mate raised a chick in  Moore Island / Snell Island territory last year.  4/24/15

Leg bands

Here is the same female taken at the same location as the landing shot, only a month later.  You can also see the white feathers in the face around the beak. 5/13/15

Cruising along on a spring day.

I took this early this morning as a pair of loons worked their way up a channel along side some green conifer trees, thus the green reflection in the water. Not a photo you will see to often!  5/4/15

Yumm Yumm

Loons eat fish but once in a while they will grab something off the bottom that looks good. I watched this one eat 2 or 3 crayfish for breakfast,,,5/4/15

Beak colors

Most loons beaks are black but some will vary in color.  5/14/15

Taking a break

These loons were actively fishing and took a break to move along. The female is on the right.  5/14/15

Here are the same loons that are in the previous photo

I  went in on foot looking for them and found them in a small cove. The female is in the back. Maybe looking for a place to nest or just puttering about on a sunny spring day.  5/18/15

Early bird ...

Quabbin loon in the early morning sunlight.  5/21/15

Loon yawn !! (no kidding) 5/21/15
Male loon

A beautiful male loon in the early morning Quabbin sunshine. Taken from over 100 yards away and cropped with 1.3X in the camera,  Then cropped again in Lightroom 5.  Its important to stay  away from these guys as far as possible.   6/3/15

 

Penguin dance

A female loon defends her territory against another loon intruding in the early morning fog on the Quabbin Reservoir.  These birds are great to have on the Quabbin but are still considered "endangered" in Massachusetts by Masswildlife.  This was taken from about 100 yards away also.  6/3/15

Common loon and chick

This little puff of coal is a day old common loon chick taken on July 2nd, 2015 in the west branch of Fever brook cove.

family portrait

This is the same chick with both parents.  Quabbin Reservoir, 7/2/15

a good stretch

Loons love a good stretch of the wings and a good wing flap after a dive or preening.  Quabbin Reservoir,  7/2/15

nesting loon

Because loons legs are far back on their body, they can not walk.  They pull themselves out of the water and just pull brush and moss around them to make a bowl for a nest.  Quabbin Reservoir, 7/2/15

common loon

A loon preens in the summer sun at Quabbin,  6/26/15

The end !

Common loons usually end preening sessions with a stretch and and a flap of the wings that can be seen for quite a ways on the water.  6/26/16

Loons

A group of common loons are just having a good chat together at Quabbin.  6/26/15

Loons

A pair of loons floating about Quabbin. You can see the leg band identification on the right hand side of the photo on the rear leg.  You gotta love loons !  6/26/15

Common Loon family

A pair of common loons with their chick that are about 3 weeks old.  July is chick time for both loons and eagles at Quabbin.   7/21/15

Three week old loon chicks and dad.
Another lazy Quabbin summer afternoon for a newly hatched 3 day old chick

A day old loon chick hooks a warm ride with dad under his wing.  They will do this for 2 weeks or so after hatching.   7/29/15

Common loons need a long way to take off from the surface of the water.  Here is a loon getting up speed to take off.  You can see the research bands on this legs of this bird....  7/6/16

Down the hatch !! well, maybe. We saw this female loon struggling with a sunfish this morning at Quabbin. When we left her she was still working on the fish. When we returned to the area 3 hours later she was still there but the fish was gone. This was taken with a Nikon D810 and a Nikon 200-500mm lens. 

A common loons calls to another loon. You've probably heard them but have you ever seen them doing it? 7/29/15

Young loons stretching their muscles.  They will do this all of their lives.  These two are 4 weeks old.   7/29/15

Just like the young ones.  This also helps them realign their feathers after preening and diving.  7/29/15

A flying loon at the Quabbin Reservoir.  Note the research bands on this birds legs.  7/14/16

A female loon takes off.  It takes a loon about 50 yards to get airborne. Here this female heads back to the male with the two chicks back in their territory at Quabbin.  Notice the colored bands on her legs used by researchers for identification.  8/12/15

Mom and chick loon

A common loon and her chick eating breakfast at Quabbin. This chick in 9 weeks old.  9/28/15

Loons tangle

Here is the female loon and mother of the chick in the last photo driving an immature loon who dropped in for a visit away  from her chick. These encounters can some times be intense with injures to either birds. 9/28/15

The "penguin dance" !

The female loon here is puffing itself up to look larger and chasing the young loon away. The young loon can't get away fast enough!!   9/28/15

Juvenile loon.

A juvenile loon bobs about on the windy Quabbin Reservoir on October 1st.  This bird is probably a year old. It was once thought that young loons spent the first 2 years at sea. New research shows that some don't. Some come back inland after 6 or 8 months at sea. 

An adult loon shaking off excess water after a dive. 10/30/13
The 4 month old chick yawning ! 10/30/15
Booth the adult and the chick together early this morning on Quabbin. 10/30/15
This four month old loon chick popped up with a crayfish right beside the rock I was sitting on. I was in the right place at the right time….10/28/15
Five month old loon

Here's the loon I was watching when the bear in the previous photo popped out of the woods.  This is also the same loon thats further on in these pictures.  When loons are actively feeding they will swim between dives with their  beaks partially open.  11/10/15

While watching loons this morning at Quabbin I saw this loon try to drop by for a visit with an adult that had her chick with her... as you can see it wasn't a good idea!! This is the quick getaway from the visitor. Loons will wing their way across the water instead of flying when it comes to a quick getaways.... Quabbin Reservoir 11/16/15

A 6 month old loon chick testing the wings before the ice forms on the Quabbin for the winter.  11/29/15

6 month old loon

A 6 month old loon races away from its mother with about a 6 inch yellow perch.  Loons seem to catch lots of yellow perch at Quabbin.  12/4/15

Last loon pic of 2016

This chick was born on July 29th, 2015 and is still hanging about its parents territory where it was raised.  The parents have left for the coast.  This chick will be gone itself any day now.....  12/31/15

Loons are gone from Quabbin for the winter.

The loons have all left the Quabbin for the winter. The chicks are the last to leave and they leave a few days before the ice sets in.  The adults will return in early April for the summer of 2016 breeding season. 2015 was a record season  for successful chicks being fledged.  

An adult loon at Quabbin cruising along on a calm summers day.  Did I mention I love these birds !  7/8/16

A juvenile loon finishes off a preen at the Quabbin Reservoir with a good shake to get all the feathers realigned.  7/6/16

Its that time of year when the loons at Quabbin are starting to group up after nesting. These birds have either failed nesting , lost chicks to predation of just didnt nest.  Its common to see groups of up to ten loons hanging out together. Taken on todays loon survey. 8/8/16

Here's a shot of a common loon taken today on the Quabbin Reservoir. Most shots I see are all side shots of loons. Here's one you don't see to often.  8/17/18

A pair of loons preening and shaking to straighten the feathers back aligned where they should be. They are in their winter plumage right now and will soon be heading out to the coast for the winter.  11/15/16

It wont be long before the common loons all head for the coast for the winter.  There are still some hanging in there at Quabbin.  Note the beautiful black and white checkered breeding plumage has all disappeared until spring. 11/27/16

I spent 3 hours this morning watching 5 loons interact with each other.  I was very comical and they were very vocal.  He's one at the end of a preening session. In a month they will be heading to the coast for the winter. Notice their breeding plumage has disappeared for the winter. 11/3/16

Loons will be on the Quabbin until late December.  I watched a group of 9 this morning.  Now they have lost their bright breeding plumage and are a dull brown and white. I guess this loon didnt know Quabbin is closed for fishing now until next April.  10/26/16

The second week of loon surveys found these three loons just hanging out and fishing together on a warm, calm, late spring afternoon.  I love these birds!  

Another pair of common loons fishing on another part of Quabbin and the female struck it rich!  A beautiful rainbow trout that went down the hatch all at once !  

I met a couple old friends this morning. These are two of the loons that are mated in the north part of the Quabbin back on their territory again after a few years on the same place.  I was able to see their ID bands on their legs for certain confirmation.  Spring is really here !   4/19/17

A family of 2 adult loons with their 4 day old babies start the 2017 summer off with great weather. Lets hope they make it through the summer until they can fly in the fall.  6/28/17

First loon survey since I got back from Cape Breton and this one was waving hello to me !   I never get sick of these birds....  6/21/17

Yesterday was weekly loon survey day at Quabbin.  The loons are starting to gather up. These are birds that failed this season nesting or never started. We saw 9 birds in one flock.  7/14/15

The weekly common loon surveys started today at Quabbin,  We found a group of 8 loons and this loon popped up with his lunch, a crawfish, right in front of us.  5/17/17

Here is Whitey on September 13th.  He and his mate were about 1/2 mile apart and he had one chick.  The other chick disappeared sometime in the last 2 weeks.  As we drove away from these 2 loons an eagle flew over them and landed in a birch tree so it could watch them closer.  9/13/17

AND HERE THEY WERE WITH THE CHICKS JUST A FEW DAYS OLD:  On the weekly loon survey yesterday we had a boat breakdown in this loons territory.  While we were looking at the motor trying to figure out the problem my favorite Quabbin loon we call Whitey came floating by with his 2, 2 day old chicks on his back and then floated off again...... it was a pleasant surprise !  8/2/17

Dad brings home the bacon.....errr.... crawfish.........loon survey....8/17/17

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