10 Facts Every Minnesotan Should Know About Our State Bird – The Loon
THINGS ALL OF US IN MINNESOTA SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OUR BEAUTIFUL LOON
As a Minnesotan, I'm a bit ashamed to say I've never really thought about our state bird much, except for the beautiful cry they make. As I was floating on Lake Winnie this week while I stayed at The Northland Lodge in Deer River, I had a lot of time to see many of these beautiful birds on the water. I watched a group of 9 or 10 loons all diving under the water, and I began to ask myself questions like: "How long can Loons stay under the water?" "Do fish try to eat Loons?" "What Predators go after Loons?" Here's what I've learned since taking the time to look into it.
FACTS ABOUT THE MINNESOTA STATE BIRD - THE LOON
1. The Loon became our Minnesota State Bird in 1961.
2. Loons are NOT ducks. (But they sure swim and look like them). They are part of the bird family called Gaviidae and weigh between 8 to 12 pounds.
3. Loons are large black and white birds with red eyes and are also known as the Common Loon, and Minnesota has more Common Loons than any other state, except Alaska.
4. The Loon has a wing span of up to 5 feet in length, and their bodies can be up to 3 feet in length. That's a big bird! Scientists think that Loons can live up to 30 years.
5. Unlike most birds that have hollow bones, Loons' bones are solid which helps them dive as deep as 250 feet deep to search for food.
6. Loons are awkward on land because their feet are so far back on their bodies. Good thing that adult loons don't have too many predators except for eagles; but their babies can fall victim to raccoons, skunks, and many other predators.
7. Because Loons are heavy, they need 100 to 600 feet to take off from a lake.
8. Loons can fly over 75 miles an hour, basically the same speed that most people drive on our Minnesota Interstates.
9. The Loon's red eyes help them see underwater.
10. Loons can stay underwater for up to five minutes.
MINNESOTA'S LOON IS PRETTY AMAZING
There are so many other things I learned about our Minnesota State bird, that I couldn't list all of the interesting facts about them. If you would like to learn more, you can click HERE and visit the Minnesota DNR to learn more.