If you’ve seen any remotely creepy movie, you’ve heard a loon wail: that mournful, nearly human ooo-ooo-oooo, that can sometimes be mistaken for a coyote or a wolf. For decades, it’s been popping up whenever a movie needs to convey melancholy or trepidation, often accompanied by a full moon or some fog. But for the most part, loons have no business being in the background of those scenes.
With the help of some internet birders, we took a deep dive (pun intended) into the world of loons to explain how Hollywood misuses this bird call — and why the wail is so haunting in the first place.
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