19 July 2018

Photographing Loons – A Visit with some old Friends

Recently had a chance to visit some old friends… LOONS! Back in the nineties I spent nearly a decade photographing these amazing and interesting birds. Nicole and I went up for two weekends this June and early July and were lucky enough to be there the day the baby hatched.

Loons live almost exclusively in special places. Quiet lakes in the Northwoods, places with beautiful light and tons of atmosphere. Being out on the water early always pays off when you are photographing Loons. It is always worth getting out of bed early for scenes like this!

Of course one of the many things that make Loons so special are their amazing vocalizations. In this image the female is giving a wail call, this haunting sound is used mostly to keep track of her mate or other loons in the area.

The other most common call is the tremolo call this call is only used by the male. He uses it to claim his territory, If the male sees another Loon fly over he will let loose with a tremolo. Each male has his own distinct tremolo call, in fact, if he moves to a different lake he will change this call!

Lastly a family portrait. Shots like this can be some of the hardest to get. They all have to be fairly close to the same plane and I have three heads to get turned in just the right position.

Good Luck and Good Light!