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(Gaviiformes), an order of birds comprising one family, Gaviidae, with the single genus, Gavia, which has three species: the red-throated loon (Gavia stellata), black-throated loon (G. arctica), and common loon (G. immer).

Loons are large birds; for example, the body of the black-throated loon is approximately 70 cm long. The body is elongated; the bill is straight, sharp, and strong. The wings are narrow and pointed, and the tail is short. The loon has a white belly, the back is black with white markings or plain grayish brown. The front digits are webbed, and the rear digit is lobed. Members of the order are aquatic birds, well adapted for swimming and diving. On land they move about by crawling because of the special structure of their limbs.

Loons inhabit the tundra and forest zones of Europe, Asia, and America, distributed to the northernmost islands. In Asia they also live on steppe lakes and highlands of southern Siberian ranges. Their diet consists offish, which they catch when they dive. The birds nest on freshwater lakes. The nest is built on a flat shore near the water. The clutch contains one or two eggs, more rarely three, colored olive brown with speckles. The hatchlings are raised in broods. The skins (the white breast and belly) are made into “fur” goods.


Kozlova, E. V. “Gagaroobraznye, trubkonosye.” In Fauna SSSR, vol. 1, no. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nina is New York's leading authority on loons and she's been conducting loon research in the Adirondacks for more than a decade.
Since 1999 loons in Massachusetts have been tagged with federal identification bands and color bands that differentiate them.
His main focus has been concerned with the population ecology of tundra-nesting geese, but in recent years he has added loons (Gavia species) into his spate of research studies.
The loons noisily carrying on outside my window as they engage in mating and raising another chick for loondom, the season of Pentecost, and questions about "my" spiritual gifts, inspire me to pore over the biblical texts that have to do with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The text, short and direct, introduces readers to two contrasting characters--a polite, patient Loon and a rude, restless Raven--who desire to add some colour to their lives, with surprising results.
A back and forth cup final culminated in Lance's Loons keeping their 100 per cent record intact, if only by the odd goal.
In particular, 53% of Red-throated Loons had distended cloacae, perhaps related to the build up of crystallized urates.
Our goal from a partnership perspective has always been to have continuity and competitiveness," Loons President & GM Paul Barbeau said.
Sheltered from coastal winds and fog, Loon Lake is a popular playground offering camping and rental cabins, picnicking, fishing, water-skiing and other marine motor sports, canoeing, swimming, sunbathing on a sandy beach, and hiking.
The team identified five "hot spots" where perch and loon populations showed heavy mercury contamination.
Both loons were emaciated, with no visible fat beneath the skin and high levels of lead permeating their livers and tissues.
A new report, entitled In situ behavioral response of Common Loons associated with elevated mercury (Hg) exposure, written by two Acadia University biologists and published in Conservation Ecology magazine, shows that as mercury increases in the blood of loon chicks, they exhibit abnormal behaviour.