Common Loon
Common Loon
A large duck-like bird that sits low in the water, the Common Loon is probably best known for its haunting yodel-like call, which has become synonymous with the north woods and wilderness. Its striking black and white summer plumage is unmistakable.

On the Menu
Proficient at diving and catching small fish, Common Loons feed on minnows, suckers, perch, sunfish, small trout, and many other kinds of fish. They also eat aquatic insects, leeches, crayfish and aquatic plants and algae.

Home Sweet Home
Common Loons breed across much of Alaska and Canada and the northern tier of the lower 48 states. After establishing their territories by calling and circling the area, the birds construct nests, building mounds of grass and twigs very close to water around lakes or on islands to raise their young.
Common Loons winter along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts and on reservoirs and other bodies of water in the southern United States and Mexico.

How Am I Doing?
Despite challenges including human disturbance, acid rain, water pollution, and lead poisoning resulting from the ingestion of fishing sinkers, Common Loon populations have remained stable over the last 45 years.

Listen to the Common Loon

Help from Audubon
Audubon's Important Bird Areas program identifies critical conservation areas for Common Loons on their breeding and wintering grounds and migratory stopover sites, and Audubon conservation and public policy efforts address pollution and other threats to loons.

Fun Fact
Common Loons can dive to depths of up to 150 feet, propelling themselves underwater with large, powerful feet and legs, which are set so far back on their bodies that the birds can barely walk on land.

Audio Files