Common Loon
 Photo  Photo Common Loon Photo
Common Loon Photo Common Loon Photo

General description.

The Common Loon is easily recognized with additional markings, such as his striped "necktie" circling a greenish-black throat. The Common Loon's "torpedo" shape, pointed bill and ability to dive to 200' make him a mighty adversary to fish. When not breeding, the loon sleeps afloat and comes to land only to nest and escape storms.

Female appearance.

The female Common Loon has the same markings, but less dramatic as her coloring is a motley brown.

Flight pattern.

The Common Loon's legs are sunk into his body to the ankle joint, his feet so close to the tail, and with less wing surface, the bird must taxi a long distance before becoming airborne. On the fly, his neck drops down while his feet poke out behind like a rudder. From the ground, the Common Loon looks like a hunchback in flight. And yet, his wings beat so rapidly that the Common Loon can reach speeds of 60mph. After breeding, they molt and lose their wing feathers, eliminating their ability to fly.

Breeding habits.

The Common Loon breeds from the Alleutian Islands and Alaska across North America, south through Maine and Massachusetts. They move on to coastal bays during the winter season, specifically the Atlantic and Gulf Coast and Great Lakes. Because of the constru

Calls or song.

To hear the Common Loon's wailing lament in the middle of the night is a haunting experience. "Crazy like a loon" is no exaggeration, as his manic laughter and "oo-AH-ho" reminds one of the eery howl of the wolf.

Nesting habits.

Because on land the loon is hardly able to get around, it nests along forested lakes and rivers, laying 2 olive-brown or greenish, spotted eggs waterside.
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