Common Loon

Gavia immer (Brünnich, 1764)


Species adapted to aquatic life and to dive at lower temperatures, with a hydrodynamic body, dense plumage, optimized legs for aquatic locomotion, preventing efficient terrestrial locomotion.
Its population is very large (the number of effectives are around hundreds of thousands of individuals) and has an extremely large area of distribution (mainly in the Nearctic region). Migratory species, nesting in Arctic regions and sub-arctic of North America, Greenland and Iceland in large, deep freshwater lakes and wintering in the Atlantic coast of Europe and in the North America coasts.
The evolution trend of the global populations shows a slight decrease.

Global conservation status

Least concern (IUCN ver. 3.1, 2010)
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Common names

  • Common Loon
  • Great Northern Diver


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It nests in the Arctic and sub-arctic regions of North America, Greenland and Iceland in large, deep freshwater lakes with small islets in tundra or boreal forests. Winters mainly in Atlantic coasts of Europe and in North America coasts but also in lakes and reservoirs.


It feeds mainly on fish but also frogs, crustaceans, aquatic insects and plant material.


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Winter migrant Breeding migrant