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Red-Throated Loon

About Red-Throated Loon

A beautiful, sleek, graceful bird with a long, sharp bill.

They nest from May to June, and their nests range from a simple scrape to a large pile of vegetation in shallow waters. They lay two olive eggs that are covered with brown spots. Both parents take care of the eggs, but mainly the female, for 24-29 days. Chicks can leave the nest soon after they are hatched and can swim, but usually stay under parent’s wing or on its back.

The slender, elegant red-throated loon is the smallest of the loons; its lower body allows it to take off without a long run across the water. This also allows it to nest on much smaller lakes and ponds. But the problem with that is there is usually not enough fish to support a pair of loons and their babies, and this causes the adult birds to make trips to larger lakes to get food for the family.

It hunts underwater, using its powerful webbed feet to drive itself through the water while it keeps it wings folded to its streamlined body. It can become like a submarine by just regulating the amount of air in its lung and air sacs. It hunts by sight, and may stay under water for several minutes.

Even though the female lays two eggs, one baby usually dies because the stronger baby takes most of the food.

The red-throated loon’s legs are set way back on its body which makes them useless on dry land and the bird cannot walk properly.