Loons Freeze To Death in N.H.

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Loons Freeze To Death in N.H.

Postby Jim B » Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:57 am

This weird winter where the northeast has been warm in December and brutally cold in January and February has been devastating for some New England wildlife. The bitter cold has wiped out many loons.

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Postby Terrible Terry » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:28 pm

.....because the way a loon's anatomy is structured, these birds can only take flight from water....


Amazing! Is this really true?
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Postby Jim B » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:35 pm

Yes, the same is true for cormorants and some other diving birds. Their legs are situated way back on their bodies which makes for excellent propulsion when swimming. The trade off is they can't run to save their lives, literally. Couple that with the need for a running start across water to take flight and you have a bird that cannot take off from land.

Every now and then someone will find a dead alcid (dovekie, puffin, etc) in the woods. These birds don't belong in the woods so why do they die there? They are blown in off of the ocean and either hit a tree or get tired and land. After that it is only a matter of time before the alcid starves to death as it cannot take off from land. That's why they breed on cliff sides. When they want to fly they jump off of the cliff.
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Postby sweetpea in pa » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:55 pm

Interesting story to someone like myself who don't really know much of the anatomy of such birds, and sad. This winter sure has been strange.
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