Saturday Loons and Sadness

Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
4,509
Location
Haverhill, MA
The morning started out OK but the light was harsher than the last time I shot the loons. I did get a couple of neat preening and stretching shots:



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Then as I was trying to back off, this loon decided to take flight and I was of course, to darn close to get a good shot, but managed this one...(better than nothing!)

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Next I found mom and little loonling and unfortunately mom was facing the sun so half of her face was shaded...
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Then mom brought a yellow perch to the little tyke (this was a rather long distance shot)
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And now comes the sad part.....a minute after eating that perch, while mom was underwater hunting again, the little one disappeared. I saw it go down but it never came back up :( I was heart broken and hung around, hoping even after 15 minutes that I had simply missed it but I've seen big turtles in this area before and I think nature used the little one for someones breakfast.

Here is mom..forlorn and uttering a haunting call for the next hour and then she finally gave up looking. I sat nearby quietly and watched for that whole hour...needless to say it put a big damper on the entire day.

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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
Jim, those Loons are absolutely gorgeous. And the story is great, right up to the ending, which sucks. Mother Nature can sometimes be a real you-know-what.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
4,509
Location
Haverhill, MA
Bill

Hi Bill...

I used to hate loons cause I was a die hard bass fisherman and they eat lots of little bass. Now I think that they are magnificent creatures :)

I'm still depressed over the loss of this little one as I've been checking on it weekly since it hatched :(
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
Jim ,I am so sorry you lost the little one, loon mom toooo.

I know how awful you felt. So sorry you had to see that.

Your images are truly Beautiful.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
Jim,

Excellent shots as usual. I had something similar happen to me last year down at the duck pond. A mother Muscovy and her chicks were swimming near shore and a huge turtle snatched one of the babies. I told Janie that I wasn't sure that I was cut out to be a nature photographer. It was really depressing.
 
B

bfjr

Guest
Beautiful animals, very nice story
but as others have said, sad but all natural.
when stuff like this happens while I'm out, I say to myself that it was meant to be, because there was something wrong with the young one and would have never made it anyway. I know I know just a wish but it helps me move on and keep shooting wildlife!!
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
14,472
Location
Toronto Canada
Jim, those shots are great. I'm so sorry to hear about the little one. Yes, nature photography can sometimes give us a kicker when we least expect it. So sad.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
2,485
Location
South Florida
I know how you feel. It's how I felt when I realized one of the two sandhill chicks was permanently gone. Sad, but a part of nature.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
963
Location
Southeast Texas
Great shots as usual, Jim! Too bad about the little guy. Maybe we'd all feel differently if turtles were the main subject of our shots, but most of us have a different perspective. Makes for a depressing day!
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
8,875
Location
Mill Creek, WA.
Jim this is the sad part about being out in nature so much. Your story is sad but the story is real and your pictures are great as usual. Thanks for sharing the story and showing us these amazing birds. We do not see many loons around these parts.
 
M

mfrank123

Guest
wow, i dont know what to say, great shots but sad story, i would have been heart broken
 
G

Gordon Large

Guest
Hi Jim -

Marvelous images, as always, especially the sixth one of mother and chick. The disappearance of the chick must have been traumatic to watch, even though that is nature's way.

It reminds me of a similar situation that I saw 12 or so years ago. My wife and I lived 25 miles west of Chicago, and our house was bordered on two sides by the Morton Arboretum, where an attempt was being made to restore original prairie grasslands and wildlife in the middle of suburbia. Lots of nights we heard the howl of coyotes in the Arboretum, and during the days they would occasionally come into the grassland near our house.

A pair of Canada Geese made a big mistake - they nested in the grass about a hundred yards from our house. When the chicks hatched, we just crossed our fingers and hoped that the coyotes would stay away. Ironically on Earth Day one coyote did show up and started circling the goose family. Mom and Dad drove it away repeatedly, and they also honked loudly and continuously. Amazingly to me, about a dozen other geese flew in and joined the action. Now the coyote had no chance and just lurked around. Don't try to tell me that "lower animals" can't communicate, however limited it may be.

Eventually the flock that came in lost interest and flew away, the coyote started circling around again. Mom and Dad put up another great fight, but eventually they lost and the chicks were lunch. My wife and I - not allowed in the Arboretum - tried to scare the coyote off by yelling but it didn't work. So we stayed and watched the proceedings for about two hours until it ended. It was traumatic, but we kept thinking about Earth Day and what it meant. We were seeing nature in action in all her beauty and horror. Better that than housing developments.

Gordon
 

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