Sunday, August 12, 2007

Loons (Gavia immer)

Click on all the photos to view them large in a new window.

On our second loon expedition on Saturday morning, we found a family of five: three adults and two babies. They live on Long Pond in Westmore, Vermont. This is the first time I have ever seen a loon. I have heard many of their distinctive calls. Loons live three miles from me on May Pond but the access is poor. Long Pond is perhaps six to ten miles from me with access to two sides of the pond for viewing.

When the babies are very small, the parents will carry them on their backs. That is why the loon population is so fragile. Motor boats are an especial danger to them and the state will prohibit access to loon nesting sites. The island these loons nested on can no longer be reached because they live there.

Loons can barely walk on land because of the placement of their legs on their bodies. It helps them swim very well, but not to walk. They are extremely vulnerable on land.

These photos were taken with full digital zoom. They are not as good as I had hoped. But they are my first! I'll get better. You can see all twenty-two of my loon photos in my Flickr: Loons set.

As if it couldn't get any better, we also saw two peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) hunt and attack a bird fly with a young falcon in the sky on the north end of the pond. The sequence of the attack wasThey were flying so quickly that my camera had no time to focus. We saw two endangered and protected species in one day. Can it get any better?

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  1. Thanks for your email about the loons, Meeyauw. They sound fascinating birds and it's so good that their nesting areas and habitat is protected.

    Look forward to more loon stories and pictures.

    Take care.

  2. I've never seen loons, I sure do hope to one day.

    I was excited to hear you saw some falcons, they're awesome aren't they.

  3. I love the call of the loon. We camped and fished a lot in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and we'd see and hear loons all the time. I miss them very much. I've pictures I took of them somewhere, if I can find them I'll post them for you.

    The language issue is just what you said. It's a part of our everday world and no one pays a mind to it. There is just a lot of teenage commoness in this book which is just what it should be because they are teenagers in this book, but because there are still young children out there that idolize the HP characters, it was a little disturbing to me and I couldn't help myself to comment on it. It's the writer in me, I guess. And the reader. Children's books, like children's movies, are not safe places anymore...for anyone.

    One thing a writer is expected to do is uplift and educate with the words they choose. Writers are praised for using a thesaurus to come up with uncommon words, i.e. "big words" to challenge the reader. Or use words far and above the normal, everyday usage, and there's a lot of words used in the book, as always, that need looking up or translated, but that's a good thing. I guess I wasn't prepared, or expecting, the constant cursing and references to other more coraser words. I just wasn't expecting it.

  4. Wow, can I come sit with you here? It looks like a beautiful place!

    So, did you do the focusing challenge yet? In some of yours it seems like your focus is on the trees or the front water....

  5. To answer your question at my blog...yes, actually, the blurred background and the focus are related. The part of the photo that is in focus tricks the camera to change the aperture to make the other areas blurry..

    The best thing I learned with my camera was to make that bracket for the focus area changed all my photos when I purposefully put the small brackets on the subject I want in focus.

    Click on the photograph tab on my blog to see all the challneges...Mr. Linkly seems only visible when on the direct post though, but they all have a Mr. Linky...go to the other's blogs to see what they did too.


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