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Common Loon

Fall migration has completed.  Out with the songbirds and in with the ducks!  Last week I headed out to Rockport State Park based on reports of Black Scoters.  I’ve never seen any scoters so I was game.  Alas, no such luck!  But the view was beautiful.

But I did spot something new in the water.  The trick with aquatic birds is to look at the beak.  I saw the beak and instantly knew this was a life bird.

This is a Common Loon.  You may be more familiar with their breeding plumage, which is quite fancy.  This is probably a juvenile.  The juveniles and non-breeding adult plumage look very similar.  The main differences as far as I can tell are that the juvenile has grey eyes and white edges to the back feathers (called scapulars).  Below is a non-breeding adult.

You can see the scapular in that picture, the eye is not as clear.  This is a better shot of the eye:

I wonder if he wishes I used the redeye correction feature in Lightroom.

2 Responses to “Common Loon”

  1. Tiffany says:

    Liz, I knew my loon (from my loon experience today ) was in a common loon in winter plumage because of you!
    Can I use the word loon more?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, that’s so cool! I was so excited by your experience that I considered taking up surfing for a minute.