Nature: Loon’s eerie call brings visions of wilderness
Hide caption A common loon in the process of molting into its breeding plumage [Jim McCormac/For The Dispatch] A common loon in the water looks like a surfaced submarine.
A chunky specimen can weigh 10 pounds, stretch nearly 3 feet from bill to tail tip, and have a wingspan of almost 4 feet.
Loons are extreme divers, capable of submerging to 200 feet.
Their quarry are small fish and other aquatic prey, which are seized with the large daggerlike bill.
On breeding lakes, and sometimes in migration, loons issue what might be the most spectacular calls of any North American bird.
While much of the population breeds far enough north that human disturbance isn’t an issue, southern populations are threatened.
While loons nest well to the north of Ohio, large numbers occur here in migration.
The past few days have brought numerous reports from lakes all over the state as the loons push north.
Although loons don’t breed in Ohio, our water management, especially of Lake Erie, is important to their well-being.
He also writes about nature at www.jimmccormac.blogspot.com.