Common Bird Species of Northwestern Ontario





Gavia immer
Common Loon


Distinguishing Features - Head and neck, black with greenish reflections; partial white collar on neck; white bar with black vertical stripes on throat. Back, black, boldly patterned with white accents; belly, white. Bill, black, straight, tapered to a sharp point. Eye, red. Male and female are essentially indistinguishable.

Common Loon Size - 71 - 89 cm (28.5 - 35.5 in).


Lakes and larger rivers.


Near water's edge, islands. Nest is simple, usually a depression in the ground. Eggs, 2; olive-green to olive-brown spotted with dark dots. Incubation period 28 - 30 days.


The Common Loon is an excellent swimmer and diver. Its diet consists mainly of aquatic life such as small fish, frogs, crustaceans and roots. A single loon or a pair are a common sight on a northern lake where their loud call is unmistakeable. It has been often described as "haunting, beautiful or thrilling" Some have even called it "blood-curdling".

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