Birdwatching Canada

A voice for the northern birds

Canada’s Day – Canada’s Bird

Can you name Canada’s National Bird? You may get a clue from our coins!

Our national bird is the Common Loon, which also explains our loonies and toonies that the world loves to laugh about. And before you ask, no a baby loon is not called a loonie (or twins called toonies). Baby loons are simply called chicks, just like other waterfowl babies.

Common Loons have striking red eyes, black heads and necks, and white striping, checkering, and spotting on their backs. As well as being Canada’s national bird, they are also the provincial bird of Ontario.

Common Loon on nest

Common Loon on nest

Loons are one of the most aquatic of birds. Their legs are placed so far back on their bodies they have extreme difficulty walking on land, and were named for their clumsy, awkward appearance on dry ground.

Also known as Great Northern Divers, Common Loons swim underwater to catch fish, propelling themselves with the feet. They swallow most of their prey underwater. They have sharp, rearward-pointing projections on the roof of their mouth and tongue that help them keep a firm hold on slippery fish.

Loons can dive more than 200 feet (61 meters) below the surface of the water in search of food, and are Canada’s deepest diving bird. They can stay underwater for nearly a minute.

Their unusual cries are distinct to individuals and can be heard at great distances. Loon cries are most prevalent during breeding season as pairs aggressively defend their territories. The eerie yodel of the Common Loon is a true symbol of wild Canada.

Filed under: Waterfowl, , ,

Calling All Loon Watchers

Bird Studies Canada is looking for your help.

common-loon1

Bird Studies Canada photo

Anyone who has listened to their wild call echoing across a tranquil northern lake can appreciate how the Common Loon has become a much-loved wilderness symbol. The loon has a special place in the hearts of many lakeside residents and visitors, and is deeply missed in its absence.

The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey was first initiated in Ontario in 1981 to assess the long-term health and productivity of Common Loons, and the lakes they depend on. Loons breed on lakes throughout most of Canada, and as top predators, their survival reflects broader lake health. Each year, hundreds of volunteer participants spend time observing loons on lakes where they breed in Canada: at least once in June (for loon pairs), once in July (for newly hatched chicks), and once in August (for young that survive to fledge). This information is used to monitor loon chick survival over time, and is an important indicator of loon and lake health.

Contact Information:

Canadian Lakes Loon Survey
Bird Studies Canada
P.O. Box 160, 115 Front Street
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0
Ph. 1-888-448-2473 ext. 212
Fax: 1-519-586-3532
E-mail: aqsurvey@bsc-eoc.org

Filed under: Waterfowl, , ,

Archives

Nature Blog Network
Bird Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites
Blog Directory
All About Birds: Free Bird Guide and More

RSS BC Birding

  • [bcintbird] Chipping Sparrow
    I was lying in bed this morning not quite ready to get up when I heard a different sounding bird. So I looked out the window and there was a Chipping Sparrow near my nyjer feeder calling.When I finally went downstairs, it was eating freely from it.So nice to a have a different bird on the feeder. Tomorrow I must go buy more. Stopped filling my other feeder. […]

RSS Vancouver Island Birding

  • [bcbirdingvanisland] VARC spring blog!
    SGkgQmlyZGVycyBhbmQgQmFuZGVycywNCiANCg0KIEnigJl2ZSBqdXN0IHVwbG9hZGVkIHRoZSBWQVJDIHNwcmluZyBibG9nIHdpdGggYWxsIHRoZSBhY3Rpdml0eSBmcm9tIGEgdmVyeSBidXN5IHBlcmlvZCBvZiBtb25pdG9yaW5nIGFuZCBiYW5kaW5nIGF0IENvbG9ueSBGYXJtLiANCkluY2x1ZGVkIGluIHRoaXMgYmxvZyBhcmUgYSBwaG90byBlc3NheSBvbiBjb25mdXNpbmcgRW1waWQgRmx5Y2F0Y2hlcnMsIHRoZSB0cmFuc2Zvcm1hdGlvbiBvZiBBbWVyaWNhbiBHb2xk […]
  • [bcbirdingvanisland] Nanaimo bird report, April 09, 2017
    DQog4oCcTmFuYWltbyBiaXJkIHJlcG9ydOKAnQ0KIA0KIEV4cGxvcmUgTmF0dXJlIC0tLWdvIEJpcmRpbmcNCiANCiAgDQogDQogVG8gcmVwb3J0IHlvdXIgc2lnaHRpbmdzIGNhbGwgdGhlIGJpcmRzdG9yZSBhdCAyNTAtMzkwLTM2Njkgb3IgZS1tYWlsDQogDQogdGhlYmlyZHN0b3JlQHNoYXcuY2ENCiANCiAgDQogDQogUGxlYXNlIHJlbWVtYmVyIHdoZW4gcmVwb3J0aW5nIGEgc2lnaHRpbmcgcGxlYXNlIGxlYXZlIHlvdXIgbmFtZSBhbmQgcGhvbmUgbnVtYmVyIHdpdGgg […]

RSS Alberta Birding

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Saskatchewan Birding

  • [Saskbirds] Bizarre behavior of Solitary Sandpipers
    During today's Saskatoon Nature Society field trip, we split into 2 groups and conducted several point counts for the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas project within the 13UDT05 square south of Clavet. John Patterson led one group and I led the other group. Some of my group's highlights during the point counts were Nelson's Sparrows and Purple […]

RSS Manitoba Birding

  • [Manitobabirds] Dickcissels west of Morden - a note on behalf of Bernie Neufeld and Herb Warkentin
    Herb Warkentin & I also drove to Morden to look for the dickcissels. We found 2 at the Rd 11 site SW of Morden, plus 2 more at the Roads 16 &33 junction, as well as another 2 at Rd 28 just north of Highway 23.Also of interest, at the 16&33 intersection, we spotted an adult upland sandpiper with 2 small chicks in the grass & field in the SE se […]

RSS Ontario Birding

  • [Ontbirds] Dickcissels south of Sarnia
    12: 20 PM today. A pair of dickcissels at small parking lot entrance to the International Prairie Passage Route located just off Bickford Road east of Highway 40 on north side of Bickford.A male was singing and flitting back and forth between a post in the parking lot and a metal sign post without a sign beside the ditch east of parking lot on Bickford.Dale […]

RSS Nova Scotia Birding

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.