Loon #15746: Fantastic Flyer

How fast did satellite-tracked Loon #15746 fly? That's what Kevin Kenow wondered. After he received locations for a couple of intervals as the loon departed Lake Michigan, Kevin found out. "With a few assumptions about take-off location and accuracy of the fixes, I was able to calculate the flight speed of the bird."

Now it's your turn to try! Kevin sent the information below. Take a look:

Trip Began Ended Time Distance
1st Leg 12:40 15:38   325.47   202.24  
2nd Leg 15:38 18:07   211.48   131.41  
Full Trip 12:40 18:07   536.95   333.65  


Try This! Journaling Question

  • What was Loon #15746's approximate speed on the first leg of the trip? The second leg of the trip? The full trip?
  • What other questions do you have about Kevin Kenow's satellite-tracked loon migration project?



Radiomarked Juvenile Common Loon

Courtesy K.P. Kenow, USGS