If you're unfamiliar with what a Loon is, I have a quick bird lesson for you. 'Common Loons' are the state bird of my home state, Minnesota. They're incredibly popular throughout the state and can be found just about anywhere on one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes.

They mostly eat fish, crustaceans, snails, or leaches. If those food items are scarce, they have been known to feed off of aquatic insect larvae.

If you've never seen one, they look like this.

No Loons in Iowa?

I can't blame anyone from Iowa who hasn't seen a Loon before as I'm just learning today that Loons have completely disappeared from many Midwestern states, according to All About Birds. If you've spent most of your life in Iowa, you may have never had the chance to see one in person. I had always assumed Iowa might be home to some of these birds but it doesn't appear that's the case. I'm curious if this is due to the amount of lakes in Iowa.

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If you've traveled to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Canada, you're much more likely to see this majestic bird bobbing up and down in the water. It turns out that these birds only pass through Iowa twice a year when they migrate. They also don't spend much time in Iowa when they're heading south. They might stop for a quick pit check and then they're back on the road.

Many times you'll hear a Loon before you see one. They have a very unique 'call' and many people who live on a lake or have a cabin on a lake can hear these birds as a gentle alarm clock in the mornings.

According to All About Birds, "Loons have disappeared from the breeding sites in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Iowa." The Loon population has been stable since 1966 and has a total breeding population of 1.2 million.

Loons are an excellent source for fishermen/hunters to find out the quality of the water they may be hunting/fishing on. Loons prefer lakes that are clear which makes it easier for them to see prey as they dive into the water to hunt.

They travel like torpedos and have long necks which help them catch whatever they're choosing to dine on.

This entire inquiry on Loons living in Iowa is all thanks to my wife, who also grew up and lived in Minnesota for the majority of her life thus far. She has one of the strongest Minnesota accents you'll ever hear and our friends from Iowa always have a good laugh when they ask her to say 'Loon.'

We spent some time with our friends over easter weekend and I was shocked at how many of them have never seen a Loon in person before. Now I know why.

Here are a few more animals that you've possibly never seen in Iowa. Check out these 8 Iowa animals that are on Iowa's endangered/threatened list.

Eight Iowa Animals That Are Threatened or Endangered

Iowa has 47 endangered animals and 35 more that are threatened. Today, we'll look at eight of those 82.

Gallery Credit: Getty Images/Unsplash/YouTube

Iowa's State Record Fish

Fishing season has arrived in the great state of Iowa and here are photos of 34 of the state record-holders for particular species. There are actually a total of 55 record-setting fish in the state of Iowa but, unfortunately, pictures aren't available for all of them.

Gallery Credit: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

 

 

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