What do loons look like?
Loons are powerful, streamlined birds with red eyes, greenish-black head, long tapered beak and black and white checkerboard plumage.
How large are loons?
The Common Loon weighs between 8 – 11 pounds, is about 25 inches tall, and has a wingspread of 5 to 5 1/2 feet.
How many species of loons are there?
There are four species of loons that exist in the northern hemisphere. The Common Loon, the Arctic Loon, the Yellow-Billed Loon, and the Red-Throated Loon. The Common Loon is the only one found in northern Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Canada whereas the other three species are found in northern Canada and Alaska.
Are loons good swimmers?
Loons are supreme rulers of their aquatic domain. With legs located well back on their sleek bodies, loons are superb swimmers easily capable of catching fish for food.
Are loons good divers?
Unlike other marine birds, loons have dense bones which permit them to dive to depths of 200 feet and remain submerged for five to ten minutes.
Do loons ever come to shore?
Loons do come ashore but only to nest. With legs positioned behind their balance point, loons have great difficulty walking or even standing. It is not unusual for loons to support some of their weight on land with their chests.
Why are loons’ eyes red?
The red is caused by a pigment in the retina that filters light when loons dive beneath the water’s surface and allows for sight.
How can one tell the difference between the male and female loon?
It is impossible to determine the sex of a loon without observing its internal organs.
[Image: Courtesy of Mike Crowley; available for sale at his website Life in the Northwoods]