Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Common and Pacific Loons

 Common Loon (Gavia immer) in non-breeding feathers

If you've ever tried to photograph a hungry loon searching for small fish, you know they are agile divers and fast swimmers. This one was about to dive...but I clicked my shutter first.

In summer, I love hearing the eerie calls of Common Loons. But during the icy months, they leave Canada's remote northern lakes to spend time in coastal ocean water. On their way,  many rest awhile in central and southern Ontario.

 Common Loon

All loons spend most of their lives in water as they walk awkwardly on land. They cannot takeoff from land because they need about 30 to 50 metres of water to lift off. 

 Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) in non-breeding feathers

Pacific Loons are actually more common worldwide than Common Loons. However around the Great Lakes, Pacific Loons are rather rare, so when one is spotted birders from miles around travel to see and photograph it. This one was hanging out with a flock of Common Loons, which made the Pacific Loon tricky to see and identify. Luckily for me, an experienced birder spotted it for me.

Pacific Loon

I saw this one in Oshawa Harbour not far from where my husband and I regularly birdwatch.
I am connecting to Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE

44 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Love the Loons! I have never seen the Pacific Loon. Great sighting and photos.

Judy said...

They look so different in their non breeding plumage...

Our photos said...

Nice Loons photos!
Greetings, RW & SK

see you there! said...

The photo of both types of loons is helpful although I am sure I couldn't tell them apart if I spotted them outdoors.

Darla

lindaakacraftygardener said...

I love loons and their haunting calls. None around here now :(

Sue said...

Their sound is very distinctive, isn't it? Great pics!

=)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Super shots EG..its hard when they keep duck diving down..they have unusual beaks, quite big.

edenhills said...

We don't have loons around here, but I always loved listening to them when I would visit Minnesota.

TexWisGirl said...

so handsome! lucky you to have them near!

Karen said...

I love the call of the loon!

Gail Dixon said...

How awesome that you have these near you! Great photos.

Sandra said...

beautiful birds, i like that dancing pacific loon

RedPat said...

Lucky you! I've never seen the loons looking so scruffy. ;-)

kelley jensen said...

you have such a diversity of waterfowl in your area. great pictures.

Terri Buster said...

None around here, but I do love to hear the call- it's a bit lonesome, but sweet. Great shots!

Amazing wonders in my life said...

Cute ones...

mick said...

Great photos of beautiful birds. I saw and heard them on lakes in northern BC,Canada, many years ago - a wonderful memory!

Neil said...

Great photos.

Linda W. said...

Nice shots of moving birds!

HansHB said...

A lovely post!
Well done!

Carletta said...

A lovely series but I really like that first shot!

Christian Weiß said...

Beautiful photos, I like loons but here they are very, very rare visitors.

Janie said...

Lovely detailed photos and good info on the loons.
As far as I know, I've never seen either variety.

genie said...

Such detail filled shots, and I found it so interesting that the loons cannot take off from land. we do not have any around these parts.

LV said...

You did a great job capturing these loons.The photos are so bright and clear.

Lisa Gordon said...

I never do understand why they are called "common" when they are far from that. Really they are so beautifully, and your photographs of them are really superb!

Michelle said...

They look so relaxed just floating in the water :)

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots!

Stephanie said...

I have always loved the loon and their calls. When I was a child, we had a cottage north of Montreal by a lake. Lots of loons there. Nice shots.

Randy said...

Sweet looking birds.

Rose said...

I wish I lived where I could hear them! Great pics as usual.

Indrani said...

What thrill to watch the birds in action! Great captures.

Cezar and Léia said...

Loons are gorgeous critters and you got beautiful portraits!
Léia

llandudnopictures said...

Gorgeous birds, and I love their distinctive call.

Betty Manousos said...

beautiful birds!
great shots!:))

Dave said...

Nice species to get on camera, well done. I like the Merganser sneaking into the picture.... a lovely bird too

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful birds! We have loons in Finland too, but I've never seen or heard one.

Small City Scenes said...

Nice shots, EG. Hard to tell the difference in the non-breeding plumage. MB

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful birds and lovely pictures of both types.

NatureFootstep said...

beautiful loons. Different from "ours".

Stewart M said...

Great pictures - and I like the pintail in the zig-zag post as well.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi. I alwya think they are quite regal birds and I love their call. great shots.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What a beautiful bird...hmm wonder if I saw any on our last journey...I am pretty far from many of the birds that I saw~

Elisa Nievas said...

So beautiful loon´s pictures!
Bravo!
It seems difficult to take them

Friends who encourage me

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.