The common loon is a beautiful and powerfully unique water-dwelling bird that can be found in the North American and European woodlands.
Their distinctive wail is used in close proximity to one another and serves as a mechanism to reduce the distance between a pair of loons. As one loon wails, the other loon is likely to reciprocate with a matching call. In a sense, it is the common loon’s way of saying “I am here,” and “come to me.”
The word “loon” most likely stems from the Old English word lumme, meaning awkward or clumsy — the name refers to their inability to walk on land due to their posteriorly-positioned feet in relation to the loon’s body.
But as clumsy and awkward as they may seem on land, no one can deny the beauty in their call.
Experience the quintessential sound of the North Woods as described by Macaulay Library Audio Curator, Greg Budney, in this incredible video.