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Common Loon (Gavia immer)

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Sounds of the Boreal Forest

The boreal forest is a vast band of spruce and poplar, extending from coast to coast across Alaska and Canada. Called North America's "songbird bread-basket," for a brief time, it teems with song. Birdsongs heard on this show include a Common Loon (like this one), Swainson's Thrush, White... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, vocalization

The Call of the Loon

The call of the Common Loon brings to mind a summer visit to northern lakes with sunny blue skies. A "yodel" call is given by males on their breeding territories. The call of the Common Loon that we hear during winter is quite different from the breeding call in summer. Common Loons have another,... read more »

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Loons Go Fishing

You're fishing on a northern lake, when a black-and-white shape torpedoes under your boat. Alerted by the sound of your reel, a Common Loon follows the trout in hot pursuit. If the fish is small, the loon may take it right off the end of your line. If you succeed in bringing the fish to hand, the... read more »

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Bird Sounds Transport Us Back

Bird calls can transport us to times deep in our memory. Is the sound of the Whip-poor-will at dusk part of your memory? Maybe you heard Common Loons calling on a northern lake. Perhaps you awoke on a summer morning to the cooing of a Mourning Dove. Use the link below to discover how your bird is... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Birds of Lake Wobegon

It’s late August, and BirdNote is imagining the bird life at Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon. The loons are now quiet. And the Purple Martins that nested outside the Chatterbox Café? They’re headed for South America. Even the Orchard Orioles - like the pair seen here (female L, male R) -... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor, language

Diving Birds – Below the Surface

By December, an array of diving birds that nested at far northern latitudes are wintering on temperate waters across the continent. If we could watch them under water, we'd see this Common Loon racing like a torpedo. A goldeneye dives under water and swims about 10 feet from the surface, while... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Why I Fish

BirdNote writer and editor Todd Peterson recounts memories of wild places where he enjoyed fishing with his father, including the St. Joe River in the Bitterroot Mountains of northern Idaho and the Elk River near British Columbia’s wild border with Alberta. The call of a loon is among the sounds... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection
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