This week, I helped biologist Joe Kaplan by piloting the boat on a loon capture/banding excursion to Round Lake just outside Petoskey in Northern Michigan. We easily captured and tagged the male of the pair, left the chicks for now, as they’re only a couple weeks old, and searched two hours in vain for the female to retrieve the Geotag attached two years ago. Persistent fog didn’t help matters any.
We scouted the lake in Joe’s canoe while Ron and Lori Pool and Bud Siudara waited in the lake’s center in Ron’s pontoon like a factory whaling ship awaiting its catcher boats to return from the hunt, with the difference being we were armed with a salmon net instead of harpoons, and we weren’t bringing a loon to slaughter.
When we did return to the Factory Ship for processing the loon, a kind of slaughter did ensue, the victim being Joe, when the loon he was banding unleashed his lunch, in perfect projectile fashion, directly into Joe’s face at point blank range…in mid-sentence. And, of course, it was all caught in vivid color.
So, here’s dinner and a movie…crayfish chowder to be precise…