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Common Loon

Common Loon Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderGaviiformes
FamilyGaviidae
GenusGavia
Scientific NameGavia Immer
TypeBird
DietOmnivore
Size (L)63cm - 81cm (24.8in - 31.8in)
Wing Span100cm - 136cm (39in - 53.5in)
Weight3kg - 5kg (6.6lbs - 11lbs)
Life Span15 - 25 years
LifestyleFlock
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
ColourWhite, Black, Grey, Brown
Skin TypeFeathers
Favourite FoodFish
HabitatFreshwater lakes in cooler climates
Average Clutch Size2
Main PreyFish, Frogs, Insects
PredatorsHuman, Eagles, Osprey
Distinctive FeaturesLarge body size and eerie, yodel-like call

Common Loon Location

Map of Common Loon Locations

Common Loon

The common loon (also known as the Great Northern Diver) is a species of bird that is most closely related to the duck, mainly due to the ability of the common loon to dive underwater in order to hunt for food.

The common loon is found in parts of Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland, but common loon have recently been found in other watery parts across Europe and North America.

The common loon, like all divers, is a specialist fish-eater, as the common loon catches its prey underwater. The common loon has been seen diving as deep as 200 feet (60 m) to get its lunch. The common loon that have a very freshwater diet mainly eat pike, perch, sunfish, trout, and bass. The common loon that have a more salt-water diet feed on rock fish, flounder, sea trout, and herring.

The common loon 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 of the common loon which is ideal for diving but is not well-suited for assistance the common loon with walking. When the birds land on water, they skim along on their bellies to slow down, rather than on their feet, as the feet of a common loon are set too far back.

The common loon can swim gracefully on the surface of the water, and the common loon dives as well as any flying bird. The common loon is also able to fly well for hundreds of kilometers when these birds migrate.

The common loon has almost completely disappeared from the waters of eastern North America, mainly due to pollution in the water and excess pollutants causing acid rain to occur.