I did a story last week about a webcam on a Lakes Region nest of loons, in which I learned a surprising fact (surprising to me, anyway, since I think of birds as living just a few years):
“Last year we realized that the loon we had captured to band was actually older than our field biologist,” said John Cooley, senior biologist with Loon Preservation, which runs the nest webcam.
Loons, which often return yearly to the same nesting sites and with the same mates, are related to other long-lived aquatic fowl such as albatrosses, said Cooley. Last year an albatross known to be at least 66 years old laid and hatched an egg in Hawaii.
Loons may not be quite that elderly but, Cooley said, “It wouldn’t be surprising to think there are loons out there pushing 50.”