What Color Are Loons?

Molting Adult

At the end of the breeding season, adult loons begin their molt. During this time, they transition from their striking black-and-white breeding plumage into their gray-and-white winter plumage. This transition typically begins with the feathers surrounding the bill.

Do loons have red heads?

Red-throated Loon Photos and Videos

Small loon with a long and slender bill often held slightly raised. Breeding adults have a red throat patch and a plain gray head.

How can you tell a male loon from a female loon?

Male and female loons are similar in appearance. Males are generally larger than their mates. Seasonally, the adult common loon’s plumage changes dramatically between the breeding and non-breeding seasons. The photo above which shows an adult on its nest is indicative of the loon’s breeding (summer) appearance.

Do loons eat baby ducks?

I wondered if it had caught one of the ducklings, so I googled “do loons eat baby ducks”. … Click here to read about “loon alligators”. Apparently, loons will attack adult ducks and even Canada Geese, and regularly use underwater stealth in their attack.

How far south do loons migrate?

Medium-distance migrant. Common Loons migrate from northern lakes to coastal ocean waters. Loons in western Canada and Alaska migrate to the Pacific Coast, from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands down past Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Loons from the Great Lakes region migrate to the Gulf of Mexico or Florida coasts.

Are baby loons white?

Young Common Loons look similar to winter adults, but have more white on their head and back. This juvenile plumage is maintained through their first summer.

Do loons mate for life?

Loons are long-lived (20-30 years!) and territorial, returning annually to the same lake to breed. Banding studies have shown that loons do not mate for life and occasionally do switch mates or territories. … When one loon dies, the remaining member of a pair will find another mate.

Are loons aggressive?

Adult loons can also be very aggressive towards each other, Fighting fiercely to the point that they sometimes cause serious or fatal injuries, such as sternal puncture wounds, to each other.

Do all loons have red eyes?

Sure enough, the red color in loon eyes is strictly limited to the iris. Judith McIntyre also pointed out that young loons have dull-colored eyes, even though when they’re first learning to catch fish they obviously require excellent vision.

What are baby loons called?

Goose: Gosling. Grouse: Cheeper, squealer. Guineafowl: Keet. Loon: Loonlet.

Are there white loons?

These birds are available in California, the eastern half of the United States, Canada, and sometimes Mexico. They forage for various fish, aquatic worms, insects, and crustaceans.

Do loons eyes change color?


In the colder months, the birds’ eyes are a dull gray. But in the spring and summer, they turn a vibrant shade of crimson. Scientists don’t know why this happens, although it may have something to do with attracting mates or helping with underwater vision.

Why do loons call at night?

The tremolo is also known as the “crazy laugh.” This call is usually a response to perceived threats, including intruding loons, humans, or predators such as eagles. Tremolos are frequently given during territorial interactions with other loons, during night chorusing, and as a duet between pair members.

Can you eat a loon?

European settlers also hunted loons — for its flesh, for sport, and because anglers saw the fish-eating birds as competition. But whether boiled, broiled, or dried, loon meat does not taste great, according to historical reports. The ornithologist John Audubon called the flesh “tough, rank, and dark-colored.”

What is the life expectancy of a loon?

Two eggs are laid in June or July, and incubation lasts four weeks. Chicks are active within hours of hatching, yet they require an additional five weeks of care. Both parents share responsibility in raising the young. LIFE CYCLE: Loons live an estimated 20 to 30 years.

Where do loons sleep at night?

Because they are not well built for life on land, loons typically sleep in the water. They take short naps (15 minutes in duration, on average). To sleep, a loon turns its neck and folds its head down to rest on its back.

How many loons live on a lake?

Small lakes, generally those between 5 and 50 ha, can accommodate one pair of loons. Larger lakes may have more than one pair of breeding loons, with each pair occupying a bay or section of the lake. Until recently, loons were thought to mate for life.

How long can a loon stay under water?

The loon can stay underwater for up to five minutes, its signature red eyes helping it locate prey while submerged. Common loons are skilled in flight, sometimes reaching speeds of 70 miles (110 kilometers) an hour.

What is a group of loons called?

The book An Asylum of Loons gives this background: “(The loon’s distinctive) call, when paired with their erratic behavior when escaping danger, inspired the common phrase ‘crazy as a loon,’ which in turn gave us the collective noun ‘asylum. ‘ ”

What is a female loon called?

Common loons do not have a distinct name for the two genders of the birds. They are simply referred to as male and female common loons.

Do loons come back to same lake?

Researchers have long known that Common Loons return to the same nesting sites each spring. Now a team from the Biodiversity Research Institute, in Portland, Maine, has found that loons also return to the same locations each winter.

Where do loons lay their eggs?

When common loons get to their breeding area and mate, the females lay their eggs beside bodies of water or in shallow water. The nest is usually built by both the male and female on the ground. The female will then sit on the eggs for 27 to 30 days before they hatch.

Do loons live in Florida?

Florida is home to two native loons; the common loon and the red throated loon. The red-throated loon is the smallest, slightest of the divers. … But once the breeding season ends in Alaska, Canada and the northern U.S., loons head south to winter along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.