|Nesting Loon and Turtles
photo by: Ken W. Watson, 2004
|This is a photo of a loon, sitting on her eggs, on an artificial loon nesting platform that I built in 1996. She is sharing her nest with two turtles, a Painted Turtle, somewhat buried in the nesting material just in front of the loon, and a Map Turtle, stretched out on the fencing that covers the nest. The loon and turtles seem to get along just fine (often there will be up to half a dozen turtles on the nest).
This shot was taken from a distance of about 75 feet using a high power telephoto lens. The loon is in a high alert pose, not directly because of me, but because of a beaver who was swimming between me and the nest, slapping its tail and diving once in a while. I was downwind, so the beaver could see, but not smell me and kept swimming back and forth trying to pick up my scent.
The loon is likely sitting on two eggs, which will hatch in late June (she started nesting in late May - incubation is 27 to 29 days). For more information about the artificial loon nesting platform, including details of how to build one, see my Loon Nest Page.
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