Breeding adults have a black head, white underparts, and a checkered black-and-white mantle. Non-breeding plumage is brownish, with the chin and foreneck white. The bill is black-blue and held horizontally. The bill colour and angle distinguish this species from the similar Yellow-billed Loon. Adults can range from 61 to 100 cm (24–40 inches) in length with a 122–152 cm (4–5-foot) wingspan. The weight can vary from 1.6 to 8 kg (3.6 to 17.6 lbs). On average a Great Northern Loon is about 81 cm (32 inches) long, has a wingspan of 136 cm (54 inches), and weighs about 4.1 kg (9 lbs).
Found on a small shallow lake in Northern Wisconsin.
The adults have been banded, the male was banded a year ago, the female this spring. The little one was about 3 weeks old when these photos were taken. It was already starting to fish, or at least dive and mimic its parents. This little one is learning quickly what it is to be a Great Northern Loon. If there is enough interest in this series, I am rather certain I will post a second series shot the second day of viewing showing the little guy acting just like his parents.
Lat: 45.48, Long: -89.73
Spotted on Jul 21, 2012
Submitted on Aug 1, 2012
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