Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Loons with Mr. Paruk

Mrs. McAllister's homeroom completed a study of the Common Loon as part of their science unit on biodiversity. Mr. Paruk from the Biodiversity Research Institute in Gorham is a loon expert. He presented to both classes. We learned so much about loons!

 Loons have large webbed feet to propel them through the water. They are mainly water birds and only come onto land to nest when they lay their eggs.
They have powerful legs for swimming and heavy bodies for diving after fish.
Mr. Paruk brought along a blender because loons swallow stones to help them digest food in their gizzard, just like a blender! They sometimes swallow lead sinkers used for fishing, which kills the loon. Please don't use lead sinkers when you are fishing.

Gray feathers help the loons blend in with the ocean water. They migrate to coastal shorelines for the winter, and return to the lakes in spring to claim their territory, build a nest, and start a new family. During the summer they have the beautiful black and white markings and red eyes!