Sometimes, the often-described “black and white” Common Loon shows its Irish sympathies. This happens when the feathers on its neck (and sometimes its head) refract the light into a mostly-green iridescence, a trait usually not shown in guide books. As we shall see, the light on a Loon's head and neck often refracts into subtle purples, blues, and a green that is even more pronounced than the Loon's ascot here:

Loon 01.jpg

Sometimes, the iridescence is low-key, but a good contrast to the dark red that the Loon's eyes turn in summer:

Loon 02.jpg

We spent some fascinating time Friday watching this handsome guy fish for Alewives as they migrated through Patten Bay on the way to swim up Patten Stream. Loons actually snorkel in good spots:

Here's a better view of his cravat in its green-appearing phase:

Loon 07.jpg

Here's an example of iridesence showing subtle redish and greenish tones, stylistic compliments to its black and white patterned suit:

Loon 08.jpg

(Brooklin, Maine)