Visiting with the Common Loon family off and on has been one of the most peaceful and relaxing activities of a busy summer. We are very careful about not approaching too close, moving very slowly and very quietly when we are in their part of the lake. Often I will just sit without moving, waiting for an adult to come up from a dive. It is not uncommon for the dive to end closer to me than when it began, and for the bird then to come even closer. With only a few canoes, kayaks, or rowboats, sometimes with a occasional fisherman, the lake is a protected haven for the loons - and for us.
Sunday evening, one parent was tending the two chicks, while the other was fishing halfway down the lake.
The young were doing a lot of diving, but I suspect that was just to keep track of where the parent was going to come up so that they could try to outrace the sibling for the food.
As I began the slow paddle back down the lake, I came close to the adult who had been off fishing by itself. It was now busy attending to its feathers, a task which consumes a great deal of time for all birds each day ...
Notice how far back the leg is - the rear location is great for swimming, but renders the bird almost unable to negotiate on land.
With preening complete, supervision of the young was passed from one adult to the other.
Sometimes it only takes one bird to make for a week of great birding!