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Gaviidae – Loons

Common Loon in the United States: Photo by Ethan Rising

Welcome to our guide on Gaviidae, a family of elegant and iconic waterbirds known as loons. Found in various parts of the world, from North America to Europe and Asia, these birds are renowned for their haunting calls and exceptional diving abilities. With about five species in this family, loons are fascinating creatures with distinctive plumage and behaviors. Whether gliding gracefully across serene lakes or diving beneath the surface in search of fish, loons captivate observers with their beauty and aquatic prowess. Join us as we explore the fascinating world of Gaviidae.

Overview of Gaviidae

Streamlined predators of frigid northern waters, these sleek divers propel themselves through the depths using their webbed feet, adapted for swift and powerful swimming. Loons are so specialized for aquatic life that they struggle to walk on land, resorting to sliding on their bellies to reach their nests, typically situated close to the water’s edge. Within days of hatching, their downy chicks join them on the water, shadowing their parents as they hunt for food. The young remain under their care until they develop the sleek, velvety plumage characteristic of adult loons.