Common Loon

(Gavia immer)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 

No Image Available

NatureServe

N4B, N5N - Apparently Secure Breeding, Secure Nonbreeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common migrant and breeder

Habitat

Large rivers and lakes, often with islands

Size

28 to 35 in length

48 to 60 wingspan


Identification

 

 
Voice

 

 
Similar
Species

 


Food

 

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

Late March to early November


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Gaviiformes (loons and divers)

 

Family:

Gaviidae (loons and divers)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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Slideshows

   
  Common Loons
Bill McMullen
 
  Common Loons  
     
  Common Loon
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Common Loon  
     
  Loons of Sherburne NWR
Craig A. Mullenbach
 
  Loons of Sherburne NWR  
 
About

June 10, 2012

 
     
  Loons
Craig A. Mullenbach
 
  Loons  
     
  Voices: Common Loon
LabofOrnithology
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 19, 2010

Experience the quintessential sound of the North Woods as described by Macaulay Library Audio Curator, Greg Budney.

Illustrated with beautiful photographs by Marie Read: http://www.marieread.com and audio recordings by Steve Pantle.

Learn more about Common Loons at All About Birds: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Loon/id

To explore more audio recordings visit the Macaulay Library: http://macaulaylibrary.org/index.do

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Call of the Great Northern Diver (known in North America as the Common Loon) Watch in HD!
qlaval
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 2, 2009

This species, like all divers, is a specialist fish-eater, catching its prey underwater, diving as deep as 200 feet (60 m). The bird needs a long distance to gain momentum for take-off, and is ungainly on landing. Its clumsiness on land is due to the legs being positioned at the rear of the body: this is ideal for diving but not well-suited for walking. When the birds land on water, they skim along on their bellies to slow down, rather than on their feet, as these are set too far back. The loon swims gracefully on the surface, dives as well as any flying bird, and flies competently for hundreds of kilometers in migration. It flies with its neck outstretched, usually calling a particular tremolo that can be used to identify a flying loon. This diver is well-known in Canada, appearing on the "loonie" coin and the previous series of $20 bill, and is the provincial bird of Ontario. Also, it is the state bird of Minnesota.

 
     
  Loon at Goosneck Beach, "Winter Waves" - New Year's Day 2014
Don Gagnon
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 8, 2014

Common Loon (Gavia immer), Gooseneck Beach, near Gooseneck causeway, Westport, Massachusetts, Wednesday evening, New Year's Day, January 1, 2014, 2:31 PM - Canon PowerShot SX50 HS MVI_149708; 1:19 min.

Music: "Winter Waves-Megatrax" by Megatrax - Megatrax (Other, 0:59)

 
     
  Common Loons and calls
johnfredeen
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 13, 2010

Common loons as seen in Alberta in June of 2010. At least 2 nesting pairs were on the lake. Filmed with a Canon XH A1.

 
     
  Through the Lens: Yellow-billed Loon
LabofOrnithology
 
   
 
About

Published on May 1, 2012

The Yellow-billed Loon is the largest and most spectacular of the world's five loon species. It breeds around the globe in arctic and sub-arctic tundra lakes and is the northern counterpart to the Common Loon.

Watch this rare video shot by The Lab's Gerrit Vyn of a mated pair calling and foraging just after arriving on the partially frozen Breeding grounds in Chukotka, Russia.

 
     
  Common Loons in Minnesota
Nathan Steffenson
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Dec 22, 2009

Minnesota's State Bird the Common Loon. This video starts off with Lake Superior near Baptism River & Tettegouche State Park. Later goes to Long Island Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern MN. The video ends at the Mississippi River in Brainerd MN. Nathan Steffenson http://www.natesservice.info

More info on loons from Minnesota DNR outside link: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/birds/commonloon.html

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this bird.

Charlene
2/23/2015

Do you have loons in your area? I am from Ky and want to see and hear some loons. Where might you suggest? Also what months?

 
John
2/25/2015

Charlene; Yes, we have many Common Loons in Minnesota. But they are not found all over the state and they tend to be reclusive.

You might want to visit a state park along the north shore of Lake Superior. Another good location might be Mille Lacs State Park or Father Hennepin State Park, both on the shores of Mille Lacs Lake.

Most of my loon sightings have been on small lakes accessible only by trail in state or county parks.


     
     
 

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