Hoot Behavior

Late August, the weekend before Labor Day Weekend, I found a chance to kayak out again  with my friend Cindy.  This time, it was so foggy, we could barely see beyond the front of our kayaks. But foggy days have their own beauty . . . in the way water droplets cling to the lake grasses, and how the sun eventually burns through the fog to find you.

We kayaked all the way to the end of the lake by Range Pond State Park. We saw eagles fly back and forth. We heard their chicks hollering loudly for breakfast. A beaver slapped his tail on the water.

But no loons were seen.

Knowing I had to head back to open the camp store, Cindy and I turned back the way we’d come. It was then we heard a loon’s flying call. Swooping over our heads, it landed not too far away.

There was an answering call.

 

img_0773

There they were!

img_0901

Wow! The chick had grown!

They passed next to us, not paying us any mind.  Cindy and I snapped a few photos, when suddenly, the adult hooted and dove.

The chick immediately sunk low in the water, like a submarine.

img_0921

It was silent, looking left and right.

img_0927

Cindy and I turned to see why the adult had left. Wouldn’t you know, just like the other times, our adult was hanging out with the one that had flown in.

Mama was protecting her chick yet again.

img_0930

Cindy and I didn’t see any aggressive behavior between the two adults. It was more like they were checking in with each other.  So, we turned back to see what the chick was doing, but . . .

it was gone!

We looked everywhere! There was still fog lingering in spots, not wanting to lift just yet, which made it hard to see.

Finally though, we saw it. Along the shoreline, in the fog bank.

The brave little chick.

 

img_0958

When the second adult flew away, back to its own lake, our adult gave another hoot.

img_1014

And the chick swam out for a reunion.

img_1023 img_1027

It got breakfast as a reward.

img_1047 img_1049 img_1050 img_1053

For quite awhile before heading in, Cindy and I watched these two.  It was a beautiful sight.

Only four days later, after the weekend, and I was back out again to check on the loon family. School was starting the next day, and I knew I wouldn’t get out as much to see them.

You would think that watching the adult loons feed their chick would get boring after awhile. But every single time, it was a little bit different.

On this day, the adult brought back several fish to feed on.  Even though I knew the chick could find its own food, it kept hooting for more.

img_1374

And while the adult was busily hunting down the next snack, the chick ducked its head in the water, it dove, it looked around.

img_1419 img_1429

This one time, the adult came back with no food.

img_1450

The chick looked a little confused. It hooted and waited. When the adult stayed, it hooted again.

img_1451

The chick slowly approached.

img_1455

Hooting softly a couple times, it came closer still.

img_1456

It poked and prodded at at its parent.

img_1459

Even pulled on a feather or two.

And when the adult had enough,

img_1460

It dove away.

img_1461

Our little chick had gotten its way!

img_1468 img_1469 img_1470

And here comes Mom with another snack!

img_1473 img_1475 img_1476 img_1507a

And another!

img_1510a

I’m not even sure what that is!

img_1511a

But it’s a mouthful!

img_1512

Too much of a mouthful! Our little chick drops it . . .

img_1514

And Mom has to go looking for it.

img_1518

And Dad too, I guess!

img_1520

I’m afraid that snack got away . . .

img_1521

And our little chick is not very happy about it!

img_1522 img_1523

Will our little one ever learn to fish for itself?  Check back and see.

Note: Teachers, please feel free to use these blog posts in your lesson plans for Cooper and Packrat’s first adventure;  Mystery on Pine Lake. From this point on, my observations could be the observations of Cooper, Packrat and Roy after the final pages of the story.

Next Up:  Will Our Little Chick Leave In Time!

This entry was posted in Cooper and Packrat, My Loon Watch 2016, Uncategorized, Wildlife Sightings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.