There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Common Loon

Gavia immer

Large loon
Thick bill
Steep forehead
White underparts

  • Black bill
  • Black head
  • White collar
  • White breast
  • Dark back checkered white

Non-breeding / Juveniles:
  • Pale bill with dark ridge on top
  • Brownish-gray head and back
  • White throat and breast
  • Pale around eye
  • Partially white collar
Listen to its call.

My husband and I spent this past week kayaking in the Broken Group Islands. This archipelago is located on the west side of Vancouver Island, between Ucluelet and Bamfield. In addition to some stunning scenery and awesome kayaking, I did manage to see a few birds including this adult loon and a group of what I can only assume were juveniles. They were chasing each other and splashing around in a most humorous manner. Watching them gave me new insight into the term 'loony' . 

Learn more about the Common Loon.

Additional photos:

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