Here are a few facts about the Common Loon, Gavia immer. Loons are excellent divers and can go down to 200 feet in search of small fish and aquatic invertebrates. The loon species as we see it today has been in existence for over 60 million years, far longer than mankind's 200,000 years. Minnesota has over 10,000 common loons, Maine about 4100. Loons can fly over 500 miles in a day at 70 mph. Loons can live over 25 years.
This is a collection of some of my favorite loon photographs, most of them taken on Damariscotta Lake, Maine. In an average year there will be over 50 loons on the lake including anywhere from 0 to 6 chicks. Donna and I have a small cabin on the lake, and enjoy watching the loons go through their life cycle which begins in early May each year with building a nest at water's edge. Parent loons take turns sitting on the eggs, typically a clutch of two. The hatch occurs by mid-June, with chicks in the water within minutes afterwards.