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Thursday, April 19, 2018

COMMON LOON, ASHBRIDGE BAY PARK, TORONTO, ONTARIO, 4/18/18

    We can ID this waterbird as a breeding Common Loon (Gavis immer) by it's black head; thick black bill; extensive white and black checkering on back; black neck encircled by a white and black streaked neckband and white breast.
   The Common Loon swims underwater to catch fish and swallows most of its pray underwater. They are agile swimmers, but they move pretty fast in the air.  They have been clocked at 70 mph.  Loons need a long distance to takeoff, anywhere from 30 yds. to 1/4 of a mile, depending on the wind. In order to takeoff they flap their wings and run across the water to gain speed to takeoff.
   Loons only go onshore to mate and incubate eggs.  They generally have two chicks.  A Loon family can eat about 1/2 ton of fish over a 15 week period.
   The Common Loon is a new species to our Photographic Life List, which now stands at 776.