Pacific Loon Life History


Habitat Lakes and PondsBreeds on freshwater tundra lakes. Rests on open ocean during migration. Winters on ocean waters near coast, and sometimes on bays or estuaries.Back to top


Food FishFish and aquatic invertebrates.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Nest may be a simple depression in the ground with scant lining or a large, solid, well-formed bowl of grasses and aquatic plants, located immediately adjacent to water.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:1-2 eggs
Egg Description:Variable shades of buff, brown, and olive-green.
Condition at Hatching:Downy and active; leaves nest within one or two days.
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Behavior Surface DiveDives after prey, tracking it visually, and seizing it with bill.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernPacific Loon are abundant, but there is little information on population trends of this species. Spring migration counts in California showed a sharp decline between 1979 and 1996, but these numbers have not been substantiated by surveys of breeding birds. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan rates Pacific Loon an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. This species is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Back to top


Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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