Loon Chicks at Ten Weeks, September 7, 2021

September 07, 2021  •  11 Comments

Our loon chicks are now about ten and a half weeks old. I had a chance to catch up with them this morning. Both chicks seem to be doing well. They're growing fast. Both are feeding on their own - as well as pestering their parents for food. They're getting fairly independent, one wander off something like a half mile from the parent on duty this morning. (Only one parent was around this morning, the other has probably headed off for a short break.)
Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

One of the osprey made an appearance as well. It flew over the pond a few times, then settled on a branch to watch. After several minutes, it flew back over with a nice breakfast. 
OspreyOspreyOsprey
OspreyOspreyOsprey

Most of the loon's morning was spent foraging, or pestering the parent to forage. The loons didn't seem to have much luck catching fish. The parent surfaced several times with fingerlings, but never a good-sized fish. 
Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

But, crayfish were plentiful.
Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

Here's our parent inbound with another crayfish. 
Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

The handoff.... Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

Oh, oh,  a fumble! Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

The crayfish didn't get far, our chick ties again.. Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

Ouch! Looks like the chick got pinched! Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

The chick is determined and tries again. Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

Let's see if it will go down this way.... Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

Drats! Another fumble! Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

OK, this time is going to work.... Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

No! Not again! Once more the crayfish makes a break for it! Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

But the crayfish's luck runs out.... Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

As soon as our parent surfaced this morning, at least one of the chicks would head over and start pestering the parent for a meal. If the parent was delivering a meal, the chick would eat that and immediately start pestering. The parent was rarely on the surface for more than a few second at a time. The parent was  pretty good at deflecting the chick's bill away, but the chicks were persistent and often managed to pinch the parent.  Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

One of our chicks eventually took a break from foraging and did some feather maintenance. 

Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire
Followed by a stretch... Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire Common loonCommon loonCommon loon, New Hampshire

The trees on the hills around our pond are already turning a little rusty. We've got just a few weeks left before our family moves on. 


Comments

John K Pietkiewicz(non-registered)
Absolutely Stunning Ian.

You have definitely mastered shooting Loons and osprey.

Glad you have this opportunity and share with the rest of us.

JohnKP
Cindy(non-registered)
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing pictures!! I thoroughly love them!! Take care Cindy
Mary Ellen Rousseau(non-registered)
We have a loon family with one chick on Crescent Lake in Acworth/Unity. Never seen anything so close as these pictures. Thanks so much.
Lyn(non-registered)
This was a gift! Thank you and thanks to Daybreak for connecting me.
Jennifer Loros(non-registered)
Absolutely wonderful photos! Thanks, a bright spot to the day!!
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