Yellow-billed Loon

Gavia adamsii

Order

GAVIIFORMES

Family

Loons (Gaviidae)

Code 4

YBLO

Code 6

GAVADA

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Yellow-billed Loon has a fairly large breeding range of 1.2 million square kilometers. This includes large lakes with high fish populations in tundra in northern Canada, Alaska, and Russia. It winters in coastal waters of Scandinavia, southern Alaska, and western Canada south to Washington state. This species has also occurred as a vagrant on many inland lakes and reservoirs in the United States and Canada. The global estimated population of this species is 16,000-32,000 individuals. The Yellow-billed Loon is threatened by pollution on its wintering grounds, some disturbance on breeding grounds, and a low reproductive rate. Because of these factors coupled with a fairly small population, the Yellow-billed Loon has conservation rating of Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Yellow-billed Loon: Large loon, white-spotted black upperparts, white underparts, gray sides with fine white spots. Head is glossy green-black; neck has black-and-white rings. Yellow bill. Dives for small fish, crustaceans. Direct flight on deep wing beats. Solitary, or in pairs and family groups.

 

Range and Habitat

Yellow-billed Loon: Breeds in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska, but migrates in winter to coastal areas of southern Alaska and British Columbia, where it is commonly seen. Also winters along the Aleutian archipelago. Prefers tundra lakes and ponds in summer, winters on inshore coastal waters.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"ha-ha-ha-ha-ha"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Yellow-billed Loons occasionally drown in nets, either put out for commercial, research, or subsistence purposes.
  • Oil spills are a major threat on their wintering grounds and for migrants.
  • Pairs will maintain the same territory year after year, taking on a new mate only if one does not return from migration.
  • 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

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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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