Caught on Camera

By Tom Venesky - [email protected]

Frank Suponcic tried for years to get a close-up photo of a common loon and, after finally getting the opportunity, he feels the bird was certainly worth the wait.

Suponcic photographed this male loon at Frances Slocum State Park in May, and the picture highlights everything that is stunning about the species.

Sure, loons aren’t exactly embraced by everyone, including some anglers, because of their appetite for fish, but one can’t deny that they are one of the most intricately patterned birds in the natural world.

The most difficult thing with a loon is deciding which part is the most eye-catching. Is it the dark head that looks like it’s covered in the smoothest velvet known to man? The wide band of green that contrasts the vertical black-and-white stripes on the neck? How about the loon’s back, which is an unorganized pattern of bold, white dots against a black background. Is that the most stunning part?

Or maybe it’s the deep, red eye that punctuates the bird’s beautiful colors that makes it stand out.

Whatever the case, the common loon isn’t a common bird when it comes to color and variety.

Capture anything interesting on your hand-held or trail camera? A nice buck, bear, coyote or any other wildlife? We’d love to see it. Each week, we’ll run photos from a reader’s trail camera on the Sunday Outdoors page. Email your photo, along with date and area it was taken (township is fine), and any other details to [email protected]

By Tom Venesky

[email protected]