Songo Blue Skies

Monday, February 16, 2009

My close encounter with a loon

Every once in a while I experience a close encounter with nature. I feel these are privileges. I got my love for animals and nature from my maternal Grandfather Walter Brewer. When I was ten my Grandparents moved from Lawrence, MA to Deerfield New Hampshire. They lived in this rural town by a small river. I remember seeing a mink by the river one fall.
Grampa Brewer trained a family of chipmunks to feed out of his hand. If I sat very still they would come and eat out of my hand. In the winter he always had bird feeders by the window. We enjoyed seeing grosbeaks [both evening and rose breasted] and other assorted birds while we ate breakfast. Later he even got the chickadees and sparrows to eat out of his hand. If I put on his red jacket I could go out and stand very still with a few seeds in my hand. The birds would come and sit on my hand and take a seed and fly off. It was so cool.
My greatest joy happened a couple of summers ago. I was up at Songo Pond in mid July. I saw a lone loon in the water so I got my camera and stayed a respectable distance watching her [could have been a male for all I know as well] for signs when I seemed too close. She paddled around and it seemed to me she might be injured or something. Over time she let me get to within about 5 feet or so. I talked to her quietly and she even dozed while I stood by. Over the next week when I saw her near if I used their social call she would come nearer to me.
One day she was in the water and I was taking pictures. I ran out of film and my sister brought me a new one. As I was changing the film near the shore, she came over and gently put her beak around my ankle. I jumped a little in surprise. Guess she thought my ankle was a fish or something.
The neighbors said she stayed close to shore for a couple of days after I left, but then moved to the other end of the pond which is their usual habit. It will remain one of my favorite memories.

This was such a great blessing and experience to have this usually shy bird come so close.


Steve B said...

Sooo-eet! This just makes life worth living, doesn't it?

Kathiesbirds said...

What an amazing story! You are so privileged to have had this happen! Love these birds! I saw my first one in Aroostook County, ME