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 Saving Wildlife Together - Saving the Common Loon

Common Loon

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Saving Wildlife Together - Eye Help Animals helps to save the Common Loon

The common loon, whose distinctive calls range from wails to tremolos to yodels, are also unusual in looks with their red eyes, black heads and necks, and white striping, checkering, and spotting on their backs. They grow up to about three feet in length and weigh about 12 pounds. Feeding largely on fish and invertebrates, the loon can dive more than 200 feet below the surface of the water in search of food. The loon breeds in forested lakes and large ponds in northern North America and parts of Greenland and Iceland. They typically lay two eggs but the eggs are in danger of raccoons, skunks, otters, gulls, ravens, and crows. Since they typically nest very close to water, the eggs and chicks are also in danger from fish and turtles. Chicks can swim almost right away and will often ride on the backs of their parents to rest, stay warm, and avoid predators. Long-lived birds, loons may live up to 30 years. They winter along North America’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts as well as in Europe and Iceland. Although the loon’s status is stable, many have disappeared from some lakes due to the effects of acid rain and pollution as well as lead poisoning from fishing sinkers and mercury contamination from industrial waste.

Common Loon - Fast Facts

Type: Bird
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the wild: up to 30 years
Size: 28 - 36 in (71 - 92 cm)
Weight: 3.5 - 17.6 lbs (1.6 - 8 kg)
Group name: flock
Status: STABLE (worldwide)
Status: ENDANGERED (in New Hampshire)

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