Songs and calls of some New York State birds


All sounds are mp3 files.
Images are adapted from drawings by Chester A. Reed, B. S. in Chapman.

Common Loon
Gavia immer
Alarm call. "A loud, maniacal laugh." (Chapman)
Limekiln Lake, August 1996.

Short hoot.

Sound of a loon diving.
Limekiln Lake, August 1997.

One wail.

Two wails.
Limekiln Lake, September 2012.
"His usual note was this demoniac laughter ... ; but occasionally, when he had balked me most successfully and come up a long way off, he uttered a long-drawn unearthly howl, probably more like that of a wolf than any bird; as when a beast puts his muzzle to the ground and deliberately howls. This was his looning--perhaps the wildest sound that is ever heard here, making the woods ring far and wide." (Thoreau, Walden).

Loon jamboree.
Limekiln Lake, September 2014.

"Looning" is a popular pastime at Limekiln Lake. Some local standouts:

Jane Miller Moffett, longtime resident.
Limekiln Lake, August 1996.

Kevin Hamilton, seven years old.
Limekiln Lake, August 1997.

Lawnote: CAUTION! Looning may be illegal where you live, if it interferes with their courting, nesting or the care of their young. Ask your local Loon Ranger.

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Tony Phillips
Math Dept, Stony Brook University
tony at math.stonybrook.edu
November 27, 2017