Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Loons on Maxwell Lake

Another loon has joined the bird that's been on Maxwell Lake for over a week now. Perhaps this is the pair that nested last year on nearby Thompson Lake about 1 km east. Or maybe it's another pair that is not going to breed this year or just resting on the way to somewhere else. Regardless, it's nice to see loons visit even if they will probably decide not to stay. I'm sure they are both feasting on the plentiful sticklebacks in the lake.

Two days ago I walked around Wildhorse Lake and enjoyed the loud calling between 2 pairs of loons, along with the creaky caterwauling of several pairs of red-necked grebes. One loon pair escorted me by swimming alongside as I walked the shoreline trail. They did a lot of calling at one point and I wondered if I might be near a nest, but I couldn't see any likely spots. Loons nest very near water because their legs are located too far back for good mobility on land.

I saw a website poll a few days ago that is collecting suggestions for a Canadian National Bird. The red-tailed hawk was leading the poll, followed at a distant second tie between the Canada goose and the common loon. In my opinion it's no contest - the loon is the quintessential Canadian bird. After all, it's on our money and we nickname no less than two of our coins after the loon.

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