A Common loon, "great northern diver", with its 92 day old chick. This parent continues to molt past its peak breeding plumage. In other words, the images of loons we always see are of a gorgeous animal. And I have many of those too. But the image you see here is what ALL common loons look like toward the end of the breeding season. This image was taken in late September, one day before the first cold front hit Maine, with its accompanying strong north winds. And that was the day the chick began facing into that north wind and trying to make its first flight. It was successful after about 1 week of trying. And with that, they both left for the ocean, which is only about 5 miles away. The second parent was absent for about the last week here on the lake.