If loons and ducks can get along in Wisconsin, maybe we can get along with Packers fans this NFL season...
Part of KARE 11's Land of 10,000 Stories series, a pair of loons in Northern Wisconsin adopted a duckling to take care of. Usually bitter rivals, this different family dynamic was spotted by Walter Piper, a loon researcher and biology professor at Chapman University in Orange, California.
Piper has been studying loons for 22 years, along with The Loon Project which is a scientific study that focuses on territoriality, breeding behavior, habitat selection, and population dynamics of common loons in Northern Wisconsin. But in all his years he's never seen loons adopt a duckling.
Linda Grenzer with The Loon Project has been following the family as well, and said she's never seen this happen either.
During the study, there were egg shell pieces found in the loon pair's nest, indicating that they hatched chicks of their own, but they must not have survived. Piper suspected that the loon parents crossed paths with a wayward duckling and took it in as their own.
People studying this family have reported the parents treating the duckling like their own, protecting, feeding, and teaching it to dive just like a loon would.
If loons can be accepting of different birds, we should all be accepting of our fellow mankind, even if they do cheer for the wrong football team.