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LOON AND COTTON GRASS "
are among the most primitive of birds, and their ancestry can be traced back
almost 65 million years. Although most North Americans immediately think
of the common loon when they hear the word "loon", the black-throated loons
and red-throated loons are much more widespread. The black-throated loon
has two subspecies, the Pacific loon and the Eurasian loon.
In spite of my deep feelings of nostalgia for our old friend, the common loon,
I actually think that the Arctic loon is more handsome. The feathers of the head
and neck are so fine, they blend together like smooth velvet. When the bird
is feeling proud or disturbed, it can raise these feathers which remain intact,
giving the appearance of an inflated balloon.
Much of the Arctic is wet and boggy- a perfect habitat for these loons and for
cotton grass. To me, the tufts of Arctic "cotton" give a lyrical counterpoint to
the striking markings of the loon."
Arctic Loon & Cottongrass - Robert Bateman
Art Country Canada Gallery
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Bragg Creek, Alberta
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