According to Peter Harrison's SEABIRDS: AN IDENTIFICATION GUIDE, there are
4 or 5 species of loons (genus Gavia, known as "divers" in Europe)
worldwide. They are diving (to 75 meters), mainly fish-eating birds whose,
"long, wailing cries...and mournful laughter...are a characteristic sound
of the Arctic wilderness"...and kept my family company on early-morning
fishing excursions in Ontario. They are very susceptible to human
perturbations and frequent victims of oil spills. You will see them flying
low over ponds a lot because it takes them a long time to take off.
The best-known species, judging from appearances in the L.L. Bean catalog
and in film ("On Golden Pond") is the common loon. The loon is a handsome
bird which has the endearing habit of carrying its chicks on its back while
swimming. They can bite really hard too.
Thank you to Elaine for posting the instructions for the reel. I think
that one is on the program for the ball at the NHHG next month, and now I
don't have to look for the directions!
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