unmistakable Common Loon is one of the
most recognizable birds of the wooded lakes
in the north woods. It is mostly black
with a white breast and white underparts.
Its black back is speckled with bars of
white. In addition, it has a "necklace" that
consists of vertical white stripes. The
loon has a long, sharp bill and distinctive
red eyes. Males and females are identical.The
loon's legs are positioned extremely far
back on its body. While this feature certainly
helps propel the loon in water, it makes
traveling on land awkward and difficult.
the winter, the Common Loon looks completely
different. It is pale brown above and white
below. The eye is dark rather than red.
The Common Loon may reach a length of three
beloved call of the Common Loon is the
hallmark of the north woods. The loon's
eerie yodel can be heard from miles away
on a clear, quiet night. Sometimes, several
loons will yodel at once, making for
a surreal auditory experience.
Common Loon can dive to incredible depths
in search of fish, which are eaten underwater.
The loon may occasionally eat invertebrates
Common Loon breeds throughout Canada and
northern portions of the United States.
In the United States, breeding populations
exist in northern New England, the Adirondack
Mountains of New York, northern Michigan,
Wisconsin, and Minnesota, as well as northern
Montana, Wyoming and Washington. In winter,
the Common Loon winters along both the
Atlantic and Pacific coast and may be found
inland on large lakes.
Common Loon is restricted to large, freshwater
lakes during the breeding season. Because
of its large size and the placement of
its legs, loons need large surfaces to
take off from before flight. Occasionally,
a loon will become stranded in a pond that
is too small for it to fly from. In winter,
loons are found in coastal marine areas
near shores, or, large inland lakes.
loons lay 2-4 eggs on a floating island
or along the shore of a lake. The young
are active as soon as they hatch. Young
loons will ride on their mother's back
before taking to the water.
are thought to be declining because of
water pollution and nest disturbance.