Shoreline – Common Loon
Robert Bateman Hand Signed Limited Edition Print 12″ x 18″
Edition Size: 1250
“The loon slips quietly away from the shore. The water is calm because this is a sheltered cove. The loon has given up mobility on land for perfection in the water. The legs are as far back as possible to aid in swimming. This means that walking on land just does not work. Terrestrial locomotion could be best be described as shoving and sliding. I have never seen a loon on land except at the nest. There is no need for it, and the land harbors potential dangers. This means the nest must be within inches of the water, both vertically and horizontally. If the nest were built on an exposed shoreline, the waves could wash away the eggs. For this reason, power boats and personal motorized watercraft are a menace since their thoughtless operators regularly zoom into sheltered bays that have not experienced serious waves in centuries.
This loon must be leaving the nest site, otherwise it would not be found so close to shore. Deeper water has larger fish for prey and more room to escape from enemies.
As an artist and naturalist, I love the graceful vegetation that edges the northern lakes. The grasses, rushes, sedges, spiraea and fragrant shrubs form a sort of Japanese screen through which to view the bird. This complex, tangled ecosystem also protects and camouflages the nest from the land.” Robert Bateman
(From the original painting Shoreline – Common Loon – 2003 – 12″ x 18″ Acrylic on Board)