Common Loon

About the Common Loon

Also known as: Great Northern Diver

The Common Loon, or Great Northern Diver, is a large species of diving bird. These duck-like birds breed in Canada, parts of the northern United States, Greenland, Alaska, and Iceland. It winters on a wider range in Northern Europe and the British Isles, as well as coastal areas in North America.

Common Loons are specialist fishers and catch their prey underwater, diving as deep as 200 feet (60 meters). They make nests of dirt and vegetation, usually close to or on the water. Chicks are semi-precocial, able to leave the nest within a day of hatching. Young birds often brood on the back of a parent, which is super-cute. The Common Loon is the state bird of Minnesota.

The natural range of the Common Loon is quite large and as of September 2014 the conservation status for this species is Least Concern.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 12 May 2008
Scientific Name
Gavia immer
  • Gaviiformes
  • Gaviidae
  • Gavia
  • G. immer
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 6 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
26 to 35.8 inches
40.9 to 51.6 inches
88.2 to 215.2 ounces


International Names

Chinese (汉语) 普通潜鸟
Czech (Cesky) Potáplice Lední
Danish (Dansk) Islom
Dutch (Nederlands) IJsduiker
Finnish (Suomi) Amerikanjääkuikka
French (Français) Plongeon Huard / Plongeon Imbrin
German (Deutsch) Eistaucher
Italian (Italiano) Strolaga Maggiore
Japanese (日本語) ハシグロアビ (Hashiguroabi)
Korean (한국어) 아비 (Abi)
Norwegian (Norsk) Islom
Polish (Polski) Nur Lodowiec
Russian (русский язык) Полярная гагара
Spanish (Español) Gavia Immer / Colimbo Grande
Swedish (Svenska) Svartnäbbad Islom
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