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THE RAFT OF LOONS - Sunday, August 3, 2008

As if to make up for yesterday's boat parade and picnic weather, Mother Nature provided us with a real treat.

On Sunday, Aug. 3, there were were as many as 12 loons swimming along our West Shore.

Thank you to Mary Jane Jones who called me so I could document this sight. My photo was weak, but through the binocs, the group looked like loons to me.

For those of you who believe the raft might not have been loons, but maybe cormorants or ducks, thank you to Joe Besaw for sending this photo.

Joe said, "They were feeding right off the end of my dock. About where the old hotel ruins lie."

When loons come together in quantity, it is called a "raft of loons." Scientists believe rafting is done by traveling loons to facilitate feeding.

UPDATE - August 20

Tom Laverghetta wrote:

Click the above photo to enlarge it.

Here's a close up detail from Joe's photo:

Just saw the pics from the Loon "raft." I was in my canoe that same morning fishing off Wight's Rock with my son. The raft came within 10 feet of us and I took some pictures with my cell phone, but they didn't turn out nearly as clear as what you have posted. I can definitely confirm they were loons. Also, appears that at least half were juveniles, with several of the larger birds placing themselves between the younger birds and our boat.