The Common Loon: My Favorite Singer

Not everyone gets to hear the common loon. In fact, other than on movies and tv shows, most people will never hear one in the wild. This waterfowl emits an amazing song. Its altogether spectrally eerie, unsettling, calming and beautiful at once. I long to hear them calling across the water to one another on their late night hunt.

Sketch of the Common Loon by Daniel Bautz

They are a striking image in the summer. Red eyes, silky black with striking white bars around their neck and back. Powerful swimmers, they are the bane of any fish the set sight on. They spend their lives mostly on the water, only coming ashore to mate. Fast, powerful flyers they have been clocked at speeds in excess of 70mph.

But for me its the summer nights on the lake, their song echoing over the water as I drift to sleep that makes me wistful. The spirit of the north reminds us our lost wildness and the primal urge to return to our natural state. Woven in the folklore of the indigenous people of North America, the loon looms large across population. Myths abound about the striking waterfowl.

While the nomenclature of is name, the Common Loon, seems to downplay the bird, it is anything but common. If you are lucky enough to hear the call of the loon, I envy you. That large bird, the common loon, is my favorite singer.

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