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KerryOn: The Lone Loon

If you're in one of the northern states after the lakes thaw there is one haunting sound you will hear on the water – the call of the Common Loon. Although there is nothing common about the sound in real life. This lone loon call can echo in your ears and give your soul a shiver.

What is most impressive about the loon call is while it may seem lonely, the call actually has many meanings from alarm to a location beacon. If you wait silently after you hear the loon call, you can usually hear other loons calling back in reassurance. The loon is not alone.

I learned early in my youth how to make a loon call by blowing air into my hands in a specific way. After practicing awhile, I became pretty good at mimicking the sound of the loon. During the summer of 2020, on one of the trips with my family to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), I passed along this talent to my three little loons. On this particular trip we experienced a fire ban. No fire in the remote wilderness meant no defense against mosquitoes. Therefore, we were chased into the tent earlier than expected. To keep the young teens entertained, I announced the opportunity to learn the loon call. The kids practiced with excitement, frustration and ultimately success until each one was making the special noise. These calls continued throughout the duration of the trip.

To this day whenever one of us begins to make the sound of a loon, the rest of us reply in kind.

We are not alone.

What I’ve learned from listening to the loons on the lake and through the experience of teaching my kids the call is that the lone loon is not alone. Calling out can be helpful. There is always someone who can hear us and reply to our call. I think we sometimes forget this important lesson. When we become lonely, we may not call out, we may suffer in silence. The next time you hear the lone loon use it as a reminder. You are not alone.

KerryOn Questions

- When have you felt like the lone loon?

- How do you call out to others in order for them to reply?

- In what ways can you help others not feel alone?

The Kerry behind KerryOn

My name is Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D. (pron. Fear-Key) I have a unique combination of skills and experience – decades of fast-paced corporate experience in Fortune 100 companies and large health care organizations, combined with the academic rigor of a highly ranked research university. My focus is supporting others to create their own path to leadership development, lifelong learning, and a unique leadership legacy. Take a moment to focus on leadership, then KerryOn!

To see all KerryOn's and other leadership stuff, visit

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