Sep 09 2016
Baby birds grow so fast! Two months ago this loon chick was only one day old at Acadia National Park in Maine. By now he’s as big as his parents and almost ready to migrate.
Every year I visit Acadia in early September (I’m there this week) but I arrive too late to see baby birds. Claire Staples spent most of the summer in Maine and followed a family of loons at Beech Hill Pond. Here’s what the chicks looked like as they got older.
At five weeks old, on August 3, the chicks are not as big as their parents and are still quite downy. They swim but they cannot fly.
At six weeks old they still depend on their parents for food.
One of them really likes to wave his foot. This is how they stretch their legs.
On August 24 they were eight weeks old and had lost their down. Now they resemble their parents.
The Acadia chick hatched two weeks later than Claire’s loons so today he looks like the two in the photo above.
Soon the loons will leave the lakes to spend the winter along the coast. They grow up in only two months.
p.s. On Wednesday I saw a loon adult and youngster on Jordan Pond. Based on Claire’s photos the youngster must have been six weeks old.