the Common Loon Migration Study
say loons have been around for at least 20 million years, making them
the oldest and most primitive living bird. Since loons can hardly walk,
they've spent most of that time in the water or in the air. Their feet
are set way back on their bodies—perfect for paddling but wobbly
for walking. Loons can't take flight without a long water runway so they're
never found on small lakes or streams. They must run across the water
beating their wings and paddling their feet to gain enough speed to fly.
There are stories of loons landing on wet pavement which they've mistaken
for deep water and then being unable to take off again!
the FIRST loon you see this spring to Journey North!
Have You Seen This Bird?
swiftly across the continent as the ice melts from inland lakes in the north.
Without revealing the secret to students, teachers might encourage them
to track ice-out along with
this migration. A network of loon biologists contribute the latest data
and methods as they track the migration with students, and migration data
from previous years will be provided. Thus, students will be able to compare
and contrast the timing of this spring's migration with those in previous
Dr. F.G. Irwin
In areas where there are lakes or other appropriate loon
habitat, students are encouraged to learn how to identify loons and go
out and look for them. Use our Journey North Loon Identification
site to learn how loons sound as well as what they look like!