Loon Facts

Loon Facts
Loon is aquatic bird that belongs to the family Gaviidae. It can be found in the North America, Europe and Asia. Loon inhabits coasts of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, lakes, ponds and various waterways. It is one of the oldest and most primitive birds on the planet. Inuit hunt loons because of their meat. Habitat destruction and pollution of the water and soil are the greatest threats for the survival of loons in the wild. Despite these factors, loons are still numerous and widespread in their native habitats.
Interesting Loon Facts:
Loon can reach 2 to 3 feet in length and 6.5 to 12 pounds of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Loon has black head and neck. Body is covered with black and white plumage. Dark grey back and white belly can be seen during the winter. Plumage is oily and waterproof.
Loon has red eyes, long bill, thick neck, webbed feet and torpedo-shaped body. Clumsiness on the solid ground due to back-positioned legs is responsible for the common name "loon".
Loon is diurnal bird (active during the day).
Loon can reach speed of 75 miles per hour in the air, but it needs to run 100 to 600 feet to reach the speed required for departure.
Loon spends most of the time in water. Unlike other birds, it has solid bones which reduce buoyancy and facilitate diving. Loons can dive 200 to 250 feet in depth and stay up to 5 minutes under the water.
Loon is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on fish (such as gulf menhaden, perch, trout), crabs, lobsters, shrimps, mollusks and insects.
Natural enemies of loons are gulls, ravens, crows, turtles, raccoons, otters, skunks and weasels.
Loon is solitary bird. It occasionally gathers in small groups (of up to 20 birds) during the summer and autumn.
Loons produce yodel calls to announce occupation of a territory during the breeding season. Tremolo calls (which sound like maniacal laughter) are sign of aggression. Short hoots are used for communication between parents and their chicks.
Mating season of loons takes place during the spring on the shores of lakes and ponds.
Loons form monogamous couples that last for a lifetime. Males and females swim and dive together during the courtship.
Female lays 2 eggs in the nest made of grass and reed. Both parents participate in the incubation of eggs which lasts 27 to 30 days.
Chicks are ready to leave the nest and swim immediately after hatching, but they cannot fly until the age of 11 weeks. Chicks often ride on the mother's back to avoid predators from the water. Loons reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 4 years.
Loons can survive around 30 years in the wild.

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