Enjoy Loon Watching – A Favorite Up North Minnesota Pastime

June is a great time to watch for baby loons on the lake, and it’s a real treat to see a chick riding on a parent’s back! Loon chicks spend the first several days under the wing or on a parent’s back to retain body heat. After that, the chicks are totally dependent on their parents for food initially but start diving for longer and longer periods as they grow and provide about half of their own food by five weeks. They can’t fly, though, until about nine weeks.

Did you know that when the young loons fly south in October or November, they won’t be back up this way again for probably three years! While they’re gone, they usually stay on the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic until they once again return to Minnesota. 

What’s really cool is that when they return to Minnesota, they will supposedly return to the SAME LAKE that they were born on. If you’d like to learn more about loons, check out the National Loon Center website. Enjoy loon watching this summer!

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