Red-throated Loon (Gavia Stellata, kaakkuri) photos as promised

Here are the Red-throated Loon (Gavia Stellata, kaakkuri) photos as promised in my previous post Red-Throated Loon (kaakkuri) in Karnaistenkorpi. I met this beautiful bird first time this summer and it has been fascinating to visit their breeding bond in Karnaistenkorpi for couple of times.

Red-throated Loon (kaakkuri), also known as Red-throated Diver

The Red-throated Loon is the smallest member of loons. It lives in the Northern hemisphere and nests usually in bear bonds. The sexes are similar in appearance, although males tend to be slightly larger and heavier than females.

Red-throated Loons bill is characteristically hold tipped slightly upward, Lohja, Finland
Red-throated Loons bill is characteristically hold tipped slightly upward
Red-throated Loon eyes are red, Lohja, Finland
Red-throated Loon eyes are red

Red-throated Loon forages far from its breeding territory

Red-throated Loon eats mostly fish and it usually forages far from its breeding territory, returning from distant lakes or sea with fish for the young. Actually it is the only loon that breeds in a bond which is not rich in fish and forages far from its nest.

Red-throated Loon returning to the bond with a fish for the young
Parent returning to the bond with a fish for the young

There seems to be some kind of a ritual related to the feeding: after the chick has eaten the fish, the parents gather close to each other head near the surface and they screech and moan very loudly. I noticed this ritual happened nearly every time the other parent returned to the bond with fish (listen to the bird).

Lifelong relationship

The Red-throated Loons relationship can be lifelong, and the couple nests in the same place from year to year. Usually birds start nesting at about four years old. Male nest up to 30 kilometers from their birth pond, but females have moved more than 100 kilometers from their place of birth.

Red-throated Loon couple, Lohja, Finland
Red-throated Loon couple

Nest and breeding

Red-throated Loon nest in a mat of Peat moss or a Sedge tussock, usually near a shoreline or even surrounded by water, enabling birds to swim right onto the nest with no need to walk.

Usually the female lays 2-3 eggs and after 3-4 weeks the babies are born.

Red-throated Loon chicks in a misty morning (14.7.2020), Lohja, Finland
Red-throated Loon chicks in a misty morning (14.7.2020)
Red-throated Loon chicks with their parent (14.7.2020), Lohja, Finland
Red-throated Loon chicks with their parent (14.7.2020)

Young Red-throated Loons learn to fly within six seven weeks. After that they leave the nesting bond to a lake which is rich in fish, but they may return for the night to their nesting pond.

And there it goes again

In the flight Red-throated Loons neck is often held low, which distinguishes it from similar species including the more common Black-throated Loon.

Red-throated Loon flying in a misty morning, Lohja, Finland
Red-throated Loon flying in a misty morning

It has been inspiring to follow the Red-throated Loons in a misty mornings. I am sure I will visit the Ahvenalampi bond regularly before they leave it.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you have enjoyed the Red-throated Loon post.
By the way, I have referred to Luontoportti ja BirdLife for the facts in my post.

Minna from Finnish nature 😊

20 replies to “Red-throated Loon (Gavia Stellata, kaakkuri) photos as promised

    1. Thank you Donna! The chicks will soon leave the bond, which is quite sad😏

      That’s strange😩 I will check the link again. BTW the link is leading to a page in which there is in a upper left corner box: listen to this bird. Did you try that?

      Liked by 1 person

Please comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star