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Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Aves
Sub-class Neornithes
Infra-class Neognathae
Order Information
Order Gaviiformes
Sub-order Ciconii
Infraorder Ciconiides
Family Information
Family Gaviidae
Genus Information
Genus Gavia
Species Information
Species G. adamsii
G. arctica
G. immer
G. pacifica
G. stellata
Population statistics

Loons are several species of large water birds found in northern areas of North America and Eurasia.

Loons range in size between 25 and 34 inches long. They are normally grey or brown, except in the breeding season when the males of most species will sport feathers of deep black, flecked with white.

They mostly eat fish, and build their nests on the edge of the water, usually inland.

the cry of the Loon in summer is often cited as a representative feature of the far north.[1]

Species of Loon

  • Red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) - the smallest species; the male has a red throat in the breeding season.
  • Pacific loon (Gavia pacifica)
  • Arctic loon (Gavia arctica) - not normally resident in North America, but it sometimes breeds in Alaska.
  • Common loon (Gavia immer) - this species can be heard year round; the inly species to spend the winter far inland, in the south-eastern United States.
  • Yellow-billed loon (Gavia adamsii) - The largest species, and the most northerly, nesting only in Arctic areas of Siberia, Alaska and Canada.


The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. (National Geographic Society 2002)