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Loon, Great Northern Diver

Category: Vi Making Friends With The Outdoor Folk

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
slowly 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.

Next: Animals and Birds of the Open

Previous: Blue Heron

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