Scarborough Loon – Dozing on a Rising Tide

Common Loon on the Scarborough River.

Common Loon on the Scarborough River.

This Common Loon was floating on the Scarborough River in the vicinity of the western end of the pedestrian causeway across the Scarborough Marsh near Portland, Maine.

The loon appeared to be relaxing and napping or dozing with its eyes alternately partially closed or fully closed, or briefly open to look around.  While the loon typically was facing downstream (i.e., to the right in the video clips), the incoming high tide created a current flowing upstream (right to left).

The loon was apparently paddling just enough to maintain a stationary position relative to the bank.  Occasionally the bird would stop paddling, drift upstream with the tide, and then resume another stationary position, or move gently downstream against the current.

Common Loon - napping or dozing

Common Loon – napping or dozing

Presumably this location provided a good opportunity for this behavior as I saw the bird doing this on two different dates (11/30/2016 and 12/3/2016).  Although I did not see any evidence of the loon trying to forage for fish on either visit (i.e., no diving and no swimming with its eyes underwater), it seems reasonable that this habitat would be suitable for fishing.

Perhaps the loon had fed earlier, and/or would feed later under different tide and river current conditions.

The video is available at

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