- 20.9–27.2 in
- 39.4–47.2 in
- 35.3–95.2 oz
- Red-throated Diver (British)
- Plongeon catmarin (French)
- The Red-throated Loon, unlike other loons, does not need to patter on the water's surface on a long takeoff, but rather can take flight directly from land if necessary.
- The Red-throated Loon is the only loon that regularly forages far from its breeding territory, returning from distant lakes or the sea with fish for the young.
- Unlike other loons, the Red-throated Loon does not carry its young on its back.
Breeds in low tundra wetlands, bogs, and ponds in forests. In migration, flocks stage on large lakes. Winters in relatively shallow, sheltered marine habitat.
Marine and freshwater fish.
- Clutch Size
- 1–3 eggs
- Egg Description
- Elongated, with variable color ranging from brown to olive, with blotches or speckles.
- Condition at Hatching
- Downy and active; capable of swimming within 12 to 24 hours.
Two nest types. Some nests are made of grass and moss and placed on low shorelines; some are actually in shallow water, built up with aquatic vegetation.
In one territorial display, nicknamed the "penguin posture," an individual or pair of Red-throated Loons extend their bodies and necks vertically, and bow their heads and bills downward, while they tread water with their feet. One threat display involves a dive with strong kicks that send up sprays of water.Pursues fish under water, grabs with bill.
Oil spills, degradation of habitat, and entanglement in fishing nets all pose threats to the Red-throated Loon. Declines noted in Europe, Alaska, and other parts of North America; reasons not well understood. North American populations are on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action.
- Barr, J. F., C. Eberl, and J. W. McIntyre. 2000. Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata). In The Birds of North America, No. 513 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.