How can baby loons stay as warm riding on their parent's back as baby robins do in the nest?
Baby loons are covered with thick down feathers that hold their body heat inside. Baby robins have many bare areas on their bodies. Also, when loon babies ride on their mother or father's back, the wing that covers them protects the babies from wind and water. The loon babies sit on an area of their parent's back that has sparse feathers, where the babies will be in contact with hot skin. Baby loons have very big webbed feet. The mother or father's back heats up the bare feet, and the feet heat up the blood flowing through them. As the blood circulates, it heats up the little loon's whole body.
2002 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.