The sun provides illumination. The author has used it to capture these photos.
The loons often cry out under the moon. Their haunting songs travel well across the water at nighttime when the only other birds who give a hoot are owls.
It is unusual for both chicks to live to adolescence and be able to fly to the Carolina Ocean for the winter. We wish them luck.
Built for “flying” underwater, loons need a long stretch of water for takeoff. It’s a treat to watch them struggle to take off over open water longer than a football field.
Every year a few are stranded by an iced-in runway when they do not “get outta Dodge” early enough. They make headlines if saved.
Human eyes and visual systems do a good job of capturing moonlit nights. The limited dynamic range of a camera will capture the details of the sunlit moon or the moonlit sparkling lake, but not both.
Note the crater shadows on the lower right.
While some research does not bear out the claim that the full moon affects behavior, the author is not so sure. Additional research needs to be conducted which includes feedback from human service workers who are quite certain due to their contact with those they sometimes call “loons.”
And also from the real loons, singing in the night.
Photo at top: Daytime image by the author, who does not have the capability of capturing loons in song at night. Photo Credit: Randy Fredlund.