Common Loon — Length: 32 inches, Wing span: 46 inches
The fantastic yodeling call of the Common Loon is probably one reason why this species has played an important role in Native American lore. Widely distributed on freshwater lakes of the northern U.S. and Canada during the breeding season, the Common Loon winters along coastlines and inland lakes that remain ice free.
Common Loons are fast flyers, typically reaching 75 miles per hour in level flight. When foraging underwater for fish, a typical dive lasts under a minute, though Common Loons can stay submerged much longer if they choose to.
The Common Loon is a swimming and diving bird with a long body, short neck, somewhat blocky head with an angular forehead, and a long, dagger-like bill.
Breeding birds have a blackish head, a black and white checkerboard pattern on the upperparts, a dark collar situated below black and white striping on the neck, and a black bill. Sexes are similar.