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Wildlife

Photos: The loneliest loon returns to Lake Hood

A red-throated loon swims at Lake Hood Floatplane Base on June 1, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

A single red-throated loon has been hanging out at Lake Hood Floatplane Base for several summers.

The loon shakes its head. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Its only companions are floatplane pilots and the occasional photographer.

The red-throated loon dives into the water of Lake Hood Floatplane Base. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Red-throated loons are the smallest and most widely distributed member of the loon family. They have a wingspread of 42 to 45 inches and feed on small fish, snails, aquatic and flying insects, and some vegetation. They winter along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America.

The loon feeds on flying insects at Lake Hood Floatplane Base. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
(Bob Hallinen / ADN)
(Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Loons lucky enough to have a mate lay one to three olive green to dark brown eggs on a nest near the shore or a depression in bare ground.

The loon’s beak breaks the water as it comes up from a dive. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
(Bob Hallinen / ADN)

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