Loon Babies at Four to Six Weeks
At four weeks of age, the downy feathers that kept the loon babies afloat, make way for their primary juvenile feathers. The young loons are now too old to ride on their parents backs anymore, although some may still try.
At five weeks the juvenile contour feathers start to develop. They can capture small prey such as crayfish by themselves, but still rely on their parents as their main food source.
The juvenile feathers continue to develop at six weeks. The parents will leave the chicks for longer periods of time, although one adult will usually be keeping a watchful eye for signs of danger from a distance.
Juvenile Loons Seven to Nine Weeks
At this point, the growth of a loon’s legs, feet and head begins to slow. The juvenile feathers are now fully developed which enables the loon to compress air out of their feathers. They now have the ability to dive and hunt efficiently and chicks can now independently capture about 50% of their food themselves.
Juvenile loons begin to exercise their wings in preparation for flight. The white band that circles an adult loon’s throat will begin to develop now.
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My parents purchased a summer house on lake Winnipesaukee when I was six. My entire family fell in love that we saw on the lake. In 1977, when I was a college student I discovered leather as a medium and fell in love. Loons soon became the focal point of much of my work. I set out to create functional, and durable leather products with original loon scenes so Loon enthusiasts could enjoy them year round.