Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Common Loon, in portraiture

During our NettieBay Lodge forays in northern Michigan - several recent posts on these -  we usually take the groups onto Lake Nettie via pontoon boat. It's a great way to observe birds and other wildlife. While preparing to debark from the dock on one of these aquatic excursions, on May 30, one of the locally nesting loons approached the boat. These birds can be quite tame, and seem to recognize and accept the boat and its occupants.

The loon eventually approached to within 15 feet of the boat, and I prostrated myself on the deck to get on its level and make these portraits.

A common loon in breeding condition is a thing of avian finery, indeed. Its ruby-red eye cannot be missed, but much more subtle is the tracing of green and purple glossing on the head.

After allowing us to ooh and aah for a while, the loon casually floated off to join its mate. Hopefully they will have another successful breeding season, and introduce some loonlets to the world. Common loons have bred on Lake Nettie for as long as anyone can remember, and raised scores of generations of loons here.

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