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A Nice Pontoon Ride on a Nice Day - UPDATE August 25, 2023

Common Loon

Today, Paula Mair and her husband Ray who she has nicknamed “Rescue Ray” because he can fix anything, joined Bear Course leaders Mike Johnson and Lorie Kennedy for a pontoon ride they said was overdue. I wondered if the eaglets would still be at their nest. We headed that way with cameras ready.

Turkey vultureTurkey vulture

A turkey vulture member of the north woods clean-up team, cruised by making me wonder if it had been cleaning up a moose that was killed by a car just two miles away.

Bald EagletBald Eaglet

Arriving at the eagle nest, we heard an eaglet we couldn’t see. The sound was coming from the direction of Lily’s shoreline den where Hope was born, so we headed there to show Ray and Paula the den. On the way back, there was the eaglet giving its call mostly hidden in the top of a shoreline white pine. When it eventually leaped into flight, maybe still testing its wings with its somewhat awkward flight, it circled over us and gave a wave of its spread tail as it banked off to land on its nest.

Mallard Male swimming

Mallard Male flyingMallard Male

A bright moment was a male mallard in summer plumage that swam by calmly and closely gave us a good look at the yellow bill that identifies him as a male in any plumage. Then, leaping into flight, he revealed his bright blue wing patches that had been hidden.

As a finale, a loon that was diving to catch fish paused its hide and seek to take a preening break that showed the striking black and white pattern of its back and wings.

No bears, beavers, or other mammals, but what we saw was more than enough. A nice time.

Thank you for all you do and a big thank you to all the volunteers who make so much possible.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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