Day 164: Common Loon Parents and Chicks (photos)

There are times in life that are truly special for the outdoor photographer. Yesterday morning was one of those moments for me shortly after dawn. While checking out various remote lakes in the northern Minnesota wilderness, I had the opportunity to watch a common loon family for over 1.5 hours from less than 10 to 20 yards away! Over the past few days I had gained this loon family’s trust, and this morning they let me get extremely close to their family. The ultimate vote of confidence was when both parents dove in search of fish for their young … leaving me on the surface within ten yards of their two chicks! I was truly blessed. In total, I took over 500 photographs. I’m slowly working through all the pictures. These are some of my favorites of what I have reviewed.

Photos #1 to #7: Common Loon Family Breakfast

  1. Dad Loon #1 approaches with small fish. Chick #1 prepares to dive off Mom Loon’s back
  2. Chick #1 diving off Mom Loon’s back
  3. Chick #2 tries to dive off Mom Loon’s back
  4. Mom Loon says “no way”! Starts to block Chick #2 with wing feathers
  5. Chick #2 now restrained on Mom Loon’s Back
  6. Chick #1 plays with breakfast
  7. Chick #1 continuing to play with the small fish (Dad loon eventually tore up the fish into small bites and fed Chick #1)

163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-01-Breakfast-Dive-1 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-01-Breakfast-Dive-2 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-01-Breakfast-Restraint-1 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-01-Breakfast-Restraint-2 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-01-Breakfast-Restraint-3 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-01-Breakfast-Restraint-4 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-01-Breakfast-Restraint-5

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Start of the parent’s next fishing expedition
163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-07-Next-Fish-A 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-07-Next-Fish-B 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-07-Next-Fish-C

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Piggyback Common Loon family and chick photos
163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-08-Piggy-Back-A 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-08-Piggy-Back-B 163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-08-Piggy-Back-C

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Yodeling with the chicks aboard163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-04-Yodel

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Shaking water off the wings after fishing for breakfast
163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-05-Wings

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Common Loon family portrait!
163-D7-Northstar-Common-Loon-Family-02-Family-Portrait

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