Loon, Great Northern Diver

Another interesting bird, which you may both hear and see on secluded

lakes, is the loon or great northern diver. I first heard the wild cry

of the loon, a lonesome and eerie sound, on Pine River Pond, a small

lake in the foot-hills of the White Mountains. There I saw the great

bird dive and disappear beneath the water to remain an alarmingly long

time, and then come up several hundred yards away, and rising, fly

to the shore. It is always a matter for guessing when the loon

dives, for you can never tell where she will come up. This great diver

is a large black-and-white bird, about the size of a goose. The breast

is white, head black, and a white ring encircles its black neck. Its

beak is long, its legs very short and placed far back on the body. It is

essentially a water-bird, and on shore is both slow and awkward. I do

not think it possible to become very intimate with the loon, for it is

one of the wildest of our birds, and so suspicious it will allow no

close approach, but quiet watching will reveal many of its interesting

characteristics. Some one once found the nest of a loon and brought me a

little, downy, young one that I might try to tame it; but it lived only

a day or two in spite of all the devotion expended upon it, and its

wild, frightened cry was too pathetic to allow of another experiment of

the kind.