Friends of the Rideau
Loon with chicks

photo by: Ken W. Watson, 1999

A healthy population of common loons lives on the Rideau. These birds winter in the U.S. and return to the Rideau in the spring to mate and raise their young. The birds nest in late May and the chicks (usually two) hatch in late June. This photo, taken when these chicks were two days old, shows them riding on their mother's back, a common practice.

The haunting call of the loon is well known to those who live on or visit the Rideau. By mid-September, the adult loons start to gather together in preparation for their journey south. They will be gone by early October. The young born that year will generally stay around until late November, gathering their strength for the journey south.

Note: please don't approach loons too closely. They are easily disturbed. If they start to call out, you are too close. This particular photo was taken from a non-disruptive distance with a telephoto lens.

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photo © Ken W. Watson