The Birds of 2015 #14: Pacific Loon

Yet another example of genera present on both the east and west coasts of the United States, but with more species around in the west, the Pacific loon (Gavia pacifica) is one of five loon species you can catch sight of on the other side of the states! 

On the east coast, you can get both common (G. immer) and red-throated loons (G. stellata); if you make it up to the far northern and western reaches of the continent, you can add Pacific to that list, plus yellow-billed (G. adamsii) and Arctic (G. arctica) loons. Pretty neat, and an interesting biogeographical phenomenon! This same situation happens with other birds like grouse and alcids, to name a couple.

About the photograph

I actually took this photo while standing waist-deep in water. I was checking out an island in this pond on nest-search because it seemed like a good spot for a loon to nest; lo and behold, this highly-defensive parent surfaced from seemingly nowhere and gave me the good ol’ stink eye! It turns out one of the best ways to find loon nests is to watch the sketchy behavior of the highly-defensive parents.

Sam works studiously at his desk for hours. Every time Castiel walks by Sam is in a different slouched position sometimes with both elbows on the table, a hand in his hair, both hands on his neck, fingers rubbing the back monotonously. His space gets messier each go around and Castiel has to consider the thoughts seemingly keeping Sam’s brow permanently creased. The taller man sighs and hunches further allowing Castiel a better look at the broad expanse of his tired back. 

Castiel is very fond of Sam in this moment working tirelessly, tapping his pencil, biting his lip every so often that he cannot help himself from walking over silently. He doesn’t reach for Sam, doesn’t touch him except to plant a kiss right at the top of his back just under his neck then leaves before he has a chance to see Sam’s look of surprise followed by a shy smile.