Today, Emma is taking a break from her whirlwind tour of National Parks in order to relax and have a fun night at the movies. Hey, she’s supposed to be on vacation after all. But something in the movies’ sound effects starts her on a little side quest to learn more about one of North Americas most famous wailers: The Common Loon.

This episode features an interview with Kylie Clatterbuck, one of the wildlife Heroes at International Bird Rescue.

A Surprising Superstar!

Almost everyone has heard a loon’s wail, but not all may know what they are! You might recognize a loon’s mournful cry in films. They often appear to create atmosphere, tension, or wilderness scenes, even in places where the real animal doesn’t exist – like space!

Emma described the common loon as ranging between a Mallard duck and a Canadian goose. It can in fact grow as big as 32 inches, with its wingspan going up to 54 inches, not far from a small goose!

The beautiful common loon isn’t the only one out there. There is a great deal of diversity among the loons. In Canada and the United States alone we can find five different species of loon: The Common Loon, Pacific Loon, Arctic Loon, Red-throated Loon, and Yellow-billed Loon.

Several of these loon species change color between summer and winter. During summer, you can recognize the common loon with its back and white spots, black head, and red eyes. In winter, they become plain gray. Some loons, like the Red-throated loon, will even lose their red patch during the winter.

A Loon Expert

In this episode, Emma had the pleasure of talking with bird expert Kylie Clatterbuck, Manager of Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Wildlife Center! Kylie has been a lead responder for oil spills and other wildlife emergencies, helping to save loons and many different birds across the word. She even traveled to save some flamingo chicks in South Africa!

Kylie and the others at the International Bird Rescue care for loons that are injured, oiled, sick, or suffering from starvation. They help them recover so they can be released back into the wild to live a happy life for years to come.

Thanks to Kylie, Emma learned some fun trivia about loons. But that is not all! There are plenty of other loon facts to dive into. Earth Rangers has plenty of fun Wildwires to check out, so why not give it a look?

What was your favorite loon fact from the episode? Let us know in the comments below!

For more information about the Common Loon or to learn more about the International Bird Rescue’s mission, please visit their website at


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