Unexpected Hoosier Loon


While in Indiana, I went out for some birding with my mom, my aunt and one of my sisters. In the Hoosier State, spring is ahead of my home in Minnesota, so I welcomed watching the song sparrows on territory singing for a mate (above).  There were also a few field sparrows singing which had me excited about hearing them at Carpenter Nature Center in a few weeks--it's such a great song.


My mom and aunts have monitored a bald eagle nest in Mooresville, IN for the last five years.  They keep a journal on their observations and I smile when locals drive by, see my mom and say, "Hey, it's the Eagle Ladies. Hi!"


Quite a few of the people who live near the nest have invited my mom and my aunts on their property to look at other birds.  One is a bed and breakfast called Lake in the Woods.  As we took the long driveway into their property, we passed a few beehives and then came to a whole bee yard with over 20 hives.  Their bees were much more active, you could see workers going in and out of hives to look for pollen and propolis.  I tried to get my sister, mom and aunt out of the vehicle to look at the hives, but they would not do it.  I told them they would be fine, but they rolled up their windows.  I swear, you blog about getting stung once or twice and no one wants to go near a hive.


The owners of Lake in the Woods were very generous with their time and showed us around their yard full of chickens, guinea fowl, bees, a couple of pigs, and lots of great birds, including the above mourning dove.  A pair took up residence last summer on their porch and fledged two broods.  The pair of doves returned three weeks ago and got started again.


I noticed some splashing on the lake behind the bed band breakfast and at first could not believe what I saw.  It could not be what I thought it was.  But when I got my bins and finally my scope on the splashing...


...I discovered that it was what I thought:  a common loon--my state bird.  I had to come all the way to Indiana to see the Minnesota state bird.  The loon was in the process of bathing and darted and splashed all over the lake.  I never saw these in Indiana when I was growing, but I wasn't often at a lake large enough for a loon either.


Must be a migrant loon, on its way north, waiting for the lakes in the far north to open up.  Apparently, this species is possible to see on larger Indiana lakes during migration.  I got some video of it bathing, it really looked like it was having a good time.

Nice day out.