Eagle River Loon Family - 2009
Silver Lake, Eagle River, WI
As photographed by Jeff Raflik Photography
Waupun, WI

I made my first trip to Eagle River to rent a friends cabin, from May 30th to June 2nd. After checking out a few other lakes, someone told me to check out Silver Lake right in town. On June 1st, I found the pair of loons with a chick, very easy to view and photograph. I wasn't expecting to see any loons with young, but according to the locals, this one hatched that morning, or the night before. The family of three stayed close to a man-made nesting platform close to a great viewing area. The baby could barely get on the adults backs, but managed a couple of times.

The second photo below shows the family of three just beyond their man-made nesting platform, built by one of the locals, after their nests on shore kept getting invaded by raccoons. I photographed the loons all day on the 1st, and till about noon on the 2nd, before I had to head back to Waupun. The last shot was taken in Eagle Lake Park, just north of Eagle River, WI. One of two loons working the shoreline for fish, showing no sign of nesting.

I rented Marc's Cabin again from July 22nd to the 25th. I arrived at about 5:30PM on the 22nd, unpacked a bunch of stuff, and went straight for the Silver Lake viewing area. I was expecting to find a somewhat grown baby, hopefully still somewhat dependant on it's parents. Instead, much to my surprise, I found an adult sitting on the nest! I quickly found out from the steady stream of locals stopping by, that the first chick never made it through the night of June 2nd, and that they had been sitting on the nest again, for nearly a month. Some of the locals were even sure that they were sitting on two eggs. I could only hope that they hatched before I had to go home on the 25th.

On the 24th, the day I decided to sleep in, they hatched! I heard second hand, that a woman saw two chicks early on (7:30AM). Because of the overcast skies, and the fact that I didn't know they hatched, I took my time, and by the time I finally made my way over there at 3:PM, there was only one chick to be seen. I now had the rest of today, and half of tomorrow to photograph them... The same timeframe I had of the first nesting cycle, under the same cloudy skies, although the sun managed to peek through between a couple thunderstorms on the morning of the 25th before I had to leave for Waupun

In the second shot, under cloudy skies, the one adult is shown with a fish that appears way too large for the baby. It took about a full minute for it to even come out from under the adults wing, and then showed no interest in trying to gulp it down. The third shot shows the three in another tight group, as the baby holds a much more manageable fish.

On the morning of the 25th, with better lighting, I got several shots of the chick riding on the adult's backs, including a nice yawning shot.

For information about framed pictures of these loons for sale in Eagle River, WI, please click HERE

For photos showing the legbands, please click HERE

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