Death of a Loon

Walking along the canal this morning, I found a dead common loon, bobbing behind a sailboat.  Its carcass appeared to be fresh and no injuries were evident.

Like many humans, he had come south to escape the snow and ice of our northern climes and to fish on the warm waters of Sarasota Bay; no doubt, he had made several journeys prior to his death.  Now, a thousand miles from his north country birthplace, his remains float in subtropical waters, soon to sink to the canal's muddy bottom.  There, crabs, fish and a host of marine invertebrates will strip away his flesh and his soft, avian bones will be scattered by the tidal current.

We humans, encountering such a victim, mourn his tragic death.  We grieve to find the lifeless body of such a romantic species so far from his boreal homeland.  But nature's cycle endures and, for many of us, the fate of this loon, to blend with the magnificent ecosystem of Sarasota Bay, is far more appealing than to be buried in a quilted box.