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As I said in the last post, we always enjoy the birding at Lost Lake and in the Okanogan Highlands. I am not equipped to do good bird photography but I always have to give it a try. Someday, I’ll buy a good long lens……

Our favorites are the Common Loons that nest on various lakes throughout the Highlands and also in Ferry County. Their mournful cries elicit a sense of another time and place. The black and white plumage is absolutely stunning. They are unique among birds because they have heavy, solid bones that allow them to dive deep in search of fish to eat and feed their young. Being so heavy, it is difficult for them to take off. They need a long body of water and Lost Lake is small for them, forcing them to circle the lake multiple times to gain altitude in order to clear the tree tops. Their feet are far back on their body so they barely walk and you will nearly never see them on land except for their nests which are at the water’s edge. Loons are curious about boats, maybe because people fish from them? If I sat quietly in my kayak, sometimes a loon would paddle right in front of me. What a treat!

At Lost Lake, breeding success for loons is threatened by the presence of Bald Eagles. In fact, most ducks and geese have given up nesting there. The eagles manage to nab most all of the baby loons, geese and ducks. What a quandary. It was obvious when the eagles were perched in the tall trees, that the loons were quite nervous, calling back and forth to each other.

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