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Thread: Loon Chicks First Swim and Piggyback (Pics/Video) - Ottawa

  1. #1
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    Default Loon Chicks First Swim and Piggyback (Pics/Video) - Ottawa

    Hello All,

    Had an incredible experience at one of my loon nest sites Friday evening. Arrived earlier in the afternoon to find one parent in the water, some five feet from the nest. After a minute or two, it wiggled back up the nest mound and settled in. It was only after I scanned the area well with my binoculars, that I noticed a newborn fluff ball, hunked at the water's edge to the left of the nest. (It is the dark blob visible in the image with the loon on the nest.)
    I figured one chick had just hatched and one egg was still in the nest. I would find out a little later I was wrong.

    Wanted to bring my Mom and Dad to the site, so met them at the launch ramp and all three of us headed back out.
    Not long after we arrived, the parent slipped off the nest and into the water. It was then that the little chick joined it, for what I believe was it's first swim. A few minutes later, it climbed up on the parent's back.
    The other parent made it's way over, and it was then that we noticed another chick was sitting in the nest. It must have just hatched earlier that afternoon. That parent climbed up the mound and snuggled up to the newborn.
    We spent the next hour watching in amazement as the newborn chick swam, played, and climbed up on it's Mom or Dad's back. All of this happened less than 25 feet away.


    I returned back to the nest site today, to find both parent's and two chicks piggy-backing and swimming in the channel not far from the nest site. As my boat gently drifted, the family came within eight feet of me. Great to see the comfort level they have.

    I've been fortunate to spend time with numerous loon families over the years, but have never timed it so well (by fluke I'll add) to arrive just as a chick took it's maiden swim and ride
    Nature never disappoints...

    Rideau River, Eastern Ontario - June 8, 2018

    LoonPiggyBack.jpg

    LoonPiggyBack2.jpg

    LoonPiggyBack3.jpg

    And here's some video footage:



    Cheers,

    Justin

    Attached Images Attached Images

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  3. #2
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    Fabulous encounter, your a lucky guy to be be at the right place at the right time..
    Thanks for sharing it with us, my wife was very excited and pleased to see the video.

    Thanks, Justin !!
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

  4. #3
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    Nice to see, thanks for posting.

  5. #4
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    Cheers, Mike and IFH...

    I knew the little ones would be hatching this week - didn't think it would happen to be the day that I visited them.
    My original nest site has one newborn chick. Found both parents swimming with it the same day. Looks like it had hatched a few days earlier.

    Cheers,
    Justin

  6. #5
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    That's absolutely incredible! Perfect pictures. Gorgeous birds

  7. #6
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    Thanks for posting

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