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May 08

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Why We Should All Swoon for the Common Loon

There’s nothing common about common loons in the Great Lakes—listen up:

An ode to the loon

Common loon sits at water's edge

Call me, maybe…or if you’re a common loon, then definitely. (via US FWS)

With their distinctive red eyes, black-and-white coloring and eerie call, the uncommon loon might be a better moniker for these wonderfully unusual birds.

What else is cool about this aquatic migratory creature? Its solid bones make for champion diving, and it has an uncanny ability to change direction underwater in a flash.

But in addition to being decidedly non-boring, loons are also a barometer for water and habitat quality, thanks to their high sensitivity to pollution and pickiness in nesting location. During the mid-twentieth century, for example, loons were forced to move their breeding grounds north—an early sign of the impact of shoreline development and poor water quality in the Great Lakes region.

So, if you hear a common loon’s haunting call today, let it remind you of the importance of good, clean water.

Take action:

The fine print:

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/creature-features/why-we-should-all-swoon-for-the-common-loon/