Seasonal Progression of the Loons

Soon, Six Mile Lake will be ‘loon-less’…at least the birds will be gone!  So here’s the progression.  First, one of the parents will leave.  By what is being observed the adult male parent has left this past week.  Sometime in the next few days to two weeks the mother will leave.  The youngsters will hang around about another month and first one then the other will leave usually within a day or so of each other.  During this time the youngsters will perfect their flying skills.  We have been watching them practice flying for short distances for the past week or so.

All will head eventually to the Gulf Coast.  There the parents will lose their bright white and black colors and assume the dove gray colors of their offspring until they are ready to return to their breeding grounds (which hopefully will be Six Mile Lake) again.  The offspring, born this year, will not return for three years and then only the males will return to the vicinity where they were born.  The females will go elsewhere to breed.

Submitted by Cherie Hogan, Vice President of Six Mile Lake Association

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