Loons (Gaviidae) are long-bodied, low-slung divers of northern waters. All species or loons nest around lakes in the far north and usually spend the winter on coastal waters in the north temperate zone. All of them show seasonal change in plumage.

Feeding life Edit

Loons find most of their food underwater by diving. They feed largely on fish at most times. But, loons will also take mollusks, crustaceans, insects, marine worms, frogs, and sometimes plant material. Their diets tend to be more varied in summer than in winter.


Their loud "yodeling" or wailing cries are often heard when defending their territory. Some species also perform display flights, flying in wide circles over their territories. If an intruder enters the nesting territory, loons can be very aggressive in defense.

Courtship displays often involve both members of a pair performing ritualized bill-dipping movements. This is when they dip the tips of their bills into the water repeatedly. They may also dive and swim around each other underwater. There are different types of loons and they all have different habits.


Most loons first breed at the age of 2 or 3 years, and the same two birds often remaiin paired year after year. The nest site is on the ground at the water's edge. Sometimes, it is in shallow water. The nest is usually built by the sitting bird pulling surrounding plant material toward itself. They form a hollow mound around their body.

Loons usually lay 2 eggs that are olive to brown.