I learned something new today, I had no idea that common loons head south for the winter. I don't know what I thought they did, just stay here and hibernate I guess, but I never thought of them as migratory birds.

Turns out the common loon is a total snowbird:

 In September, Minnesota's adult loons travel to their winter home along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina south to Florida, or on the Gulf of Mexico. Younger loons follow a month or so later.

On their trip south, loons can fly more than 75 miles per hour. Pretty impressive for a bird that can't walk on land really well. It is also impressive considering loons have solid bones, unlike the lightweight hollow bones of other birds.

Minnesota has the most loons out of any other state in the nation (except Alaska) and it is estimated that there are over 12,000 that live on our lakes and waterways.

I'm going to miss my little loon family at the lake. It has been such a fun summer following their journey of parenthood and watching their baby grow up and make it all the way through the summer. Scientists think that loons can live up to 30 years, so I'll be looking forward to the return of the loons next spring.

Until then, here is a cool video I got of my loon family this summer:

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