Loons are one of my favourite birds of all time and generally they return this admiration by showing me their butt or disappearing entirely whenever I try to take a picture of them. This weekend that all changed! I had the privilege of stalking a loon family as they swam around the lake at Jasper Park Lodge while I walked along the trail. It was a really cool experience and I am so jazzed that the loons cooperated so well for their photo shoot.

Enter the loon family

Loon family

I have never seen a baby loon before and honestly they’re kind of unfortunate looking, rather akin to a floating dust bunny.

Baby loon

There was a badass mama loon caring for her two chicks, diving down and catching fish to feed for them in between them practicing their own hunting.

Mama feeds baby

Loons are pretty elegant looking birds with perfect plumage and a strong profile, but I have found that they look totally ridiculous when viewed from the front. Silly head loon

They also are super ungraceful out of the water, but that’s not really their fault. Their legs are set really far back on their bodies so they can dive really well, but it also means they can’t walk properly like other ducks.

Swimming mama loon

They like to breed on small islands, but where I took these, Lake Beauvert, there are no islands so the park staff built them floating islands so their nests are less likely to be disrupted. They are really cute in families and even snuggle!

Loon snuggles

In short, loons are awesome, and these loons are the best of the best because they finally let me have this super cool loon experience

mama loon

Thanks for stopping by!

-Erin