[Tweeters] Common Loon band report

B Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Wed Sep 30 19:41:39 PDT 2015

This might be of interest to Tweeterdom. On an Olympic Peninsula Audubon field trip to Port Angeles Harbor and Ediz Hook on 9/12/15, we noticed a Common Loon offshore with a metal band and a variety of colored plastic leg bands. The bird was a beautiful alternate-plumage loon, swimming and diving on the north side of Ediz Hook near the Nippon paper mill. We couldn’t possibly read the metal band so far away in the water, but in between dives we recorded the color bands with our scope and sent the info to the USGS.

I received a reply back that the loon was banded as a chick on June 28, 2005, 7 miles west of Kila, Montana. Kila is west of Kalispell in the northwestern corner of Montana, west of the Continental Divide. There are several lakes in the vicinity. The Flathead River drains the area, eventually flowing into the Clark Fork and then the Columbia River. A 10-year-old bird may be old enough to have nested a few years, but it’s still fairly young. The Birds of North America account says the oldest recorded Common Loon was 23 years old.

Nothing really earthshaking, but it’s always nice to connect a migrant bird we see around here with a little of its history from somewhere else, particularly a live loon swimming offshore.

Bob Boekelheide

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