Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

The Call of the Loon

A sound of the northern lakes...

The call of the Common Loon brings to mind a summer visit to northern lakes with sunny blue skies. A "yodel" call is given by males on their breeding territories. The call of the Common Loon that we hear during winter is quite different from the breeding call in summer. Common Loons have another, more cheerful tremolo call, which they make while flying. You can learn more about the boreal forest, where many Common Loons breed, at BorealBirds.org.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The Call of the Loon

Written by Frances Wood

This is BirdNote!
[Common Loon “yodel” call]
Does this call of the Common Loon bring to mind a summer visit to northern lakes with sunny blue skies? If so, you’ve probably heard loons in Alaska, Canada, northern Minnesota, or New England. This “yodel” call is given by a male on its breeding territory.
[More Common Loon “yodel” calling]
The call of the Common Loon during winter is quite different from the summer breeding call. [Common Loon’s “wail” call] The prolonged, unmodulated, tone sounds somewhat like a wolf’s howl, doesn’t it! We identify this as the “wail” call, reflecting its mournful qualities. Both males and females give this call, for example, when they want to reestablish contact after becoming separated.
Common Loons have another, more cheerful “tremolo” call. This undulating tone, tagged the “laughing call,” is given while flying.
[Common Loon tremolo call]
When winter ends, Common Loons return to their breeding territories. Once back to those shining northern lakes, the males will again launch their yodel.
[More “yodel” call]
You can hear any episode of BirdNote again, no matter what the season, when you come to birdnote.org. All the bird sounds are provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
 [Common Loon’s “wail” call]
###
Calls of the Common Loons provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Yodel call recorded by D.C. Evans, Wail and Tremolo calls recorded by S.R. Pantle.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org   August 2014   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#011606COLOKPLU  COLO-01b


comment 1 Show

I can't get enough of Birdnote! Having lived in Springfield, IL until college, I saw corn and soybeans, but didn't notice birds except pigeons
on drives "to the country." But now, living in DeWitt, NY, I see many varieties in my heavily treed backyard, including the occasional wild turkey. Hope I hear loons when I visit Bar Harbor, ME this week! Thanks for a TERRIFIC program!

LEAVE A COMMENT

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Related topics:

Home
Shows
Blog
Galleries
More