9 Reasons The Loon Is The Best Bird

The loon (Minnesota’s state bird) is the best of all birds. Here’s why.

1. Loons have bright red eyes, which is cool as well as terrifying.

The brilliant color helps attract mates and ward off other loons across greater distances on lakes — their eyes become a duller reddish-brown when not mating or defending their territory.

2. Loons live almost exclusively on the water, and take off from the water when flying.

Loons can also hold their breath for up to 90 seconds. They avoid going to land, except for mating and nesting purposes.

3. Loons carry their babies on their backs like this, and it is ADORABLE.

Jim Block Photography / Via jimblockphoto.com

Baby loons can swim and dive right away, but they often ride on a parent’s back during their first two weeks while they get stronger and avoid predators.

4. Unlike most birds, loons have solid bones.

Loons need more weight and less buoyancy, and their solid bones are part of what allows them to dive as skillfully as they do.

5. Male and female loons have the same plumage, and are often nearly the same size.

Who doesn’t love a bird with gender neutral presentation?

6. Loons are one of few types of birds to moult into a second coat of down feathers after shedding the first when young.

Most birds, by contrast, grow a set of feathers with downy tips that wear off as they age.

7. The name “loon” comes from old English or Scandinavian terms meaning “awkward” and “clumsy.”

This probably refers to the loon’s difficulty walking on land, but being a little awkward is cool these days and I think the loon just knows what it likes, which is water.

8. Loons like to meet up with their friends and hang out all day.

Though they may nest in different areas, many loons will “meet up” on a single lake each morning and spend the day socializing with each other. So fun!

9. The loon call is highly identifiable, soothing, and lovely.

Here is a whole hour of it for you to listen to/think about your life during.

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