Pacific Loon

Gavia pacifica

Order

GAVIIFORMES

Family

Loons (Gaviidae)

Code 4

PALO

Code 6

GAVPAC

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Pacific Loon has a huge range estimated at between 100,000 to 1,000,000 square kilometers. This bird can be found in native populations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Japan and the Russian Federation, and has vagrant populations in China and Greenland as well. It is a water bird whose habitats include wetlands, marine and coastal locations. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 930,000 to 1,600,000 individual birds. It is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Pacific Loon have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Pacific Loon: Medium loon with black-and-white checkered back and white underparts. Crown and nape are gray. Iridescent throat patch can appear purple, green, or black. Eye is red. Bill is black and slender. Feeds mostly on fish, some crustaceans and mollusks. Flight is direct with rapid wing beats.


Range and Habitat

Pacific Loon: Found along the Western Coast of the United States during the fall and winter, and in Canada and Alaska, where they migrate for the breeding months. Found along the eastern coast of the Pacific Ocean and Arctic Ocean, along Canada's northern boundary. Can also be found in inland waterways and even lakes occurring along their migratory paths.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kwao"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Like other loons, the Pacific Loon walks extremely awkwardly on land, and cannot take flight from land at all.
  • They are monogamous as long as the relationship is producing offspring.
  • They are sensitive to disturbances; especially those created by humans, and are most likely to occur in remote areas.
  • A group of loons has many collective nouns, including an "asylum", "cry", "loomery", "raft", and "water dance" of loons.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Pacific Loon

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.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X