Waiting for spring: LOON

Next up in my series of wintering and preparing for the launch of This is the Boat that Ben Built: a look at what the loon is up to!

Illustrations Maggie Zeng © 2022

Loons migrate during the winter, but not to a warmer southern body of water. They migrate to the Atlantic Ocean. They must time their migration well as they need long water runways to take flight. If the body of water they are on becomes covered in ice they will be unable to lift off.

Once they reach the ocean, loons dive and fish in the open water. They have a special salt gland in their skull between their eyes that helps them adapt to life in salt water. This gland removes salt from the water and the fish they eat. The salt is excreted from ducts in their beaks.

Besides waiting for spring, one loon in my life can’t wait to return inland for her copy of This is the Boat that Ben Built (see below). How about you? Preorder now!

For many among us, the sound of a loon evokes memories of cottages, camping, hikes, and boat rides. Feel free to share a memory you have about loons in the comments below!

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