What is a Loon ?

Gavia immer - Common Loon, Great Northern Diver

The Common Loon is known for its haunting calls and striking black and white plumage and bright red eyes.
The Common Loon is a large, goose-sized diving bird with long body that rides low in the water.
An adult is 2-3 feet long, weighs 8-12 pounds and has a wing span of 4-5 feet. It can fly at speeds approaching 100 mph. Although the loon's diet includes crayfish, frogs and leeches, minnows and small fish are the most common prey. The loon will spend almost all of its time on the water, going ashore only for mating and incubating eggs. The loons generally mate for life and produce 1 to 2 eggs each season. Common Loons can live for 20 - 30 years.

The Common Loons produce four major call types.
Click on each of the four types WAILS - YODELS - TREMOLOS - HOOTS to hear samples.
Special thanks to Darwin J Long for allowing us to present his recordings on this page.
Additional information about the Common Loon can be obtained at
the All About Birds web site.