Merlin Bird Graphic

Merlin Bird ID

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    Common Loon Identification

    The Four Keys to ID

    • Size & Shape

      Common Loons are large, diving waterbirds with rounded heads and dagger-like bills. They have long bodies and short tails that are usually not visible. In flight, they look stretched out, with a long, flat body and long neck and bill. Their feet stick out beyond the tail (unlike ducks and cormorants), looking like wedges.

      Relative Size

      Larger and longer-bodied than a Mallard, smaller and shorter-necked than a Canada Goose.

      Relative Sizebetween crow and goosebetween crow and goose
      • Both Sexes
        • Length: 26.0-35.8 in (66-91 cm)
        • Weight: 88.2-215.2 oz (2500-6100 g)
        • Wingspan: 40.9-51.6 in (104-131 cm)