“Thru the years, my love for nature has grown to a place of respect for the moose and loons. I make every effort not to disturb the moose from feeding and I constantly watch their “body language” for signs of contentment or the opposite.
With the loons, I work from a safe distance thanks to today’s digital technology and capabilities I am able to shoot from a distance and crop down to show impact and detail. Again, loons have a body language all their own and I make an effort to observe that and go accordingly.”
This image was a month in the making. I wanted to share an image of a loon chick’s first hours of life with my viewers. I first had to determine the 1st day on the nest, then count the incubation period and start checking near the end of the 25-28 day wait. This is the loon’s first ride, and the bonus was the little guy looking right over at me on their way past.
I’d like to point out that I spent two full years without a camera in the kayak sitting with these loons from a distance just observing and establishing a trust of sorts. On the third year, I started photographing and captured this image of this parent with her day old chick in a quiet cove of an area pond.
This loon parent has just finished feeding her chicks and has settled in for a cruise around the pond. The chicks are 7-8 days old here and only one can still fit on parent’s back at this point. “Back riding” only lasts 7-10 days depending how fast the chicks grow.
Update: New photos added 9/4/2017
Loon parents feed their growing babies thru the summer, it takes about a thousand pounds of fish to raise each baby.
MooseMan likes to arrive at the pond about 4:15am, that leaves time for slipping the kayak into the calm water and reaching the shooting locations to set up for upcoming sunrise shots in the nursery area.
After many years of working with the same loons, sometimes they swim right next to the kayak like in this image at sunrise
The very first day, the babies are often kept hidden under the wings of the parent, with the first born sometimes on top of her back
The longer I do this work…..the more grateful I become. I am humbled by all this. I have grown to really enjoy the feeling of living life that way.
Moose Pictures by the MooseMan
All photographs on this page copyright Moose Man Nature Photos