Arctic Loon

Gavia arctica

Order

GAVIIFORMES

Family

Loons (Gaviidae)

Code 4

ARLO

Code 6

GAVARC

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Arctic Loon has a very large breeding range of 18.9 million square kilometers. This includes deep freshwater lakes in Scotland, Scandinavia, the Baltic states, most of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. A small breeding population also occurs in western Alaska. It winters in coastal waters and on large lakes and inland seas in eastern and central Asia and Europe. The estimated global population of the Arctic Loon is 280,000-1,500,000 individuals, and is believed to be large enough to warrant a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Arctic Loon: Medium loon with straight, stout bill, white-spotted black back, white flanks visible above water while swimming. Head and nape are gray. Neck has bold black and white stripes on sides and green or purple throat bar that may be difficult to see. Feeds on fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

 

Range and Habitat

Arctic Loon: Range is from Alaska to Siberia. Breeds in Russia, Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada. In the winter, it migrates to the coasts of the northeast Atlantic and eastern and western Pacific as far south as the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, China, Japan and southern Alaska. Preferred habitats include ocean, open water, and tundra lakes in the summer.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kwow, know, know"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Arctic Loon is also known as the Black-throated Diver.
  • According to old stories, “the devil himself created the Black-throated Diver. They said that the devil had forgotten to give the bird its feet, and in his anger he threw the legs after the bird.”
  • They sit low in the water and dive with ease. On land they are clumsy, barely able to walk with their legs so far back on their bodies.
  • A group of loons has many collective nouns, including an "asylum", "cry", "loomery", "raft", and "water dance" of loons.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X