Loons unusual cries, which vary from wails to tremolos to yodels can be heard echoing across the calm foggy waters of Lake Ouachita
during winter and early spring.
Common Loons are winter residents on Lake Ouachita and migrate
back to the Northern U.S. and Canada to nest.
Named for their clumsy, awkward appearance when walking on
land, common loons are migratory birds which breed in forested lakes and
large ponds in northern North America and parts of Greenland and Iceland.
Loons are unique birds, unlike most birds that have hollow bones for flight the loons bones are solid, and can dive more than 200 feet below the surface to find food.
Loons are awkward on land with their legs placed far back on their bodies. These water lovers only hit the turf to mate and incubate egg. They are superb swimmers and have been clocked in the air at 70 miles per hour.
If you’re out boating this winter and see a loon preparing for take-off, watch them use the water’s surface like an airstrip. They need 30 yards to a quarter mile to take flight. Since they are built for swimming, they actually cannot walk well on land. Their legs are too far back on their body.
Loons can live up to 30 years.
They nest lakeside and incubate their eggs for 27 to 30 days. Hatchlings leave the nest on their first day and are able to fly in about 11 weeks.
Loon populations are currently stable, but a number of
threats loom, including human encroachment and pollution.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Loons life history and sounds.