It’s the time of year that common loons come up to Outer Banks beaches for a rest, especially after storms and rough weather conditions.
Beachgoers often think the birds are injured, because they can’t easily walk as their legs are far to the rear of their bodies. Due to their anatomy, it looks to us like they may be hurt when they try to walk.
But that’s not usually the case.
Loons can only take flight from a large body of water. As a result, they will beach close to the tideline so they can get back in the water easily to fly away. Common loons beach themselves and rest for up to 24 hours.
“Please give them space to rest on the beach,” Cape Hatteras National Seashore said in a Facebook post.
The birds can be aggressive and will peck to protect themselves.