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About Loons

Common Loon

Loons, like ducks, geese, cormorants and grebes, are waterbirds, but they are classified separately by scientists.  Their closest living relatives are penguins and a group of birds called the “tube-nosed swimmers” (including albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters).

North America is home to five species of loons, including the Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata), Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica), Arctic Loon (Gavia arctica), Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) and Common Loon (Gavia immer).  The Common Loon is the most widespread and well-known species, and the only one that breeds as far south as New Hampshire.