The common Loon is a common diving bird which may likewise be called the great Northern Diver in north America. Preferred breeding grounds encompass Canada, the north United States, Greenland and also Alaska. Part isolated populaces are additionally found in Iceland. In winter months, this species migrates come sea coastlines or huge lakes throughout northern Europe, north America and the brothers Isles. The feeds top top both salt and also fresh water fish, consisting of pike, trout, bass, flounder and also herring. Once diving because that food, this bird may reach as far as 200 feet under water to record its prey. The preservation rating for the common Loon is the very least Concern.

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Common Loon: big loon, white-spotted, black upperparts and white underparts. Head, neck are green-black through white-streaked neckbands. Bill is black and also thick. Eyes space red-brown. Dives for tiny fish and crustaceans. Straight flight on solid deep soup beats, head, neck and feet extend beyond body.

Range and also Habitat

Common Loon: each other from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and also northern Canada south to Washington, Montana, and Massachusetts; might occur further south, also breeds in Greenland and Iceland. Security winters along the great Lakes, and the Gulf, Atlantic, and also Pacific coasts. Preferred nesting habitat is on forested lakes and also rivers; winters mainly on seaside bays and oceans.


Common Loon SONGS and also CALLS

Common Loon DD1

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Haunting wail calls frequently serve as contact calls in between a pair.

Common Loon A1

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Tremolo call are supplied for alarm calls.

Similar Sounding

Voice Text

"oo-AH-ho", "kee-a-ree"


The strange “yodel” or “loon laughter” the the common Loon was described by the renowned naturalist john Muir.They do underwater fishing dives of as much as 200 feet listed below the surface. Lock are adjusted for diving with hefty bones and eyes the can emphasis both in air and also water.This bird is the state bird that Minnesota. It also appears ~ above the “loonie” coin in Canada.A group of loons has actually many collective nouns, consisting of an "asylum", "cry", "loomery", "raft", and "water dance" the loons.



About this north America Map

This map shows just how this species is distributed throughout North America.


Loons (Gaviidae)


The GAVIIFORMES (pronounced gah-VEE -ih-FOR-meez) is an order that contains just one household of birds; the loons of the northern hemisphere.


The five varieties of loons re-publishing the exact same genus and also are the only members that the Gaviidae (pronounced gah-VEE-ih-dee); a tiny family of old lineage only found in north Eurasia and also North America.


All five varieties of loons grouped in ~ one genus occur in phibìc America. These include the fine known usual Loon, the similar Yellow-billed Loon and the Arctic Loon; a varieties with a mainly Eurasian distribution.


The typical Loon is well-known for that is melancholy, wailing tune that echoes throughout the dark waters of northern lakes ~ above still, moon-lit nights. Loons are additionally known for their association v clean, pollutant-free waters.


Large birds with heavy bodies and also short tails, loons have actually rather long, special necks tipped by a dagger-like bill. Evolved for aquatic environments, their quick legs with webbed feet are positioned far ago on their bodies. Nevertheless, castle are solid fliers with lengthy wings and also have a contempt hunch-backed figure in flight.


Loons have actually a general pattern the dark upperparts and white underparts that, in winter plumage, is there is no of solid markings. Both male and female breeding-plumaged loons, though, show bold white spotting on the upperparts and also fine streaking on the neck. Throughout breeding, the throat likewise has a dark patch that is iridescent in Arctic and Pacific Loons and also reddish in the Red-throated Loon. The color of the bill is dark except for that of the aptly named Yellow-billed Loon.


Loons are very aquatic bird that occur in freshwater and also marine habitats. During the breeding season, members that the Gaviidae are uncovered on the cold north lakes the Canada and also Alaska, the usual Loon additionally occurring in appropriate habitat in the most northern that the “lower 48” the the unified States. In winter, all varieties frequent large, ice-free lakes, reservoirs, and coastal habitats in north America.


All loon species are migrants from your northern reproduction grounds to their wintering habitats in phibìc America and also Northern Mexico.


Loons type pairs throughout the reproduction season however are greatly solitary in nature throughout migration and also winter. All species are highly piscivorous (fish-eating) however will also take crustaceans and salamanders. They capture such prey items ~ above frequent, underwater dives by stabbing or grasping through their sharp bills.


Although no loon varieties are endangered, some populaces in the northeastern United claims are intimidated by mountain rain and also potentially endangered by oil spills on the Pacific Coast.

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The foot of loons are located so far earlier on their bodies the they deserve to barely walk on land. In fact, these most aquatic of birds (along through grebes) only involved land to nest (always close to or surrounding by water). Your young require to the water a couple of days after hatching, frequently riding on the backs of adults for protection from predators and also to conserve energy.