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Loon

From Academic Kids

Divers/Loons
Missing image
Commonloonudfs.JPG
Great Northern Diver or Common Loon


Great Northern Diver
or Common Loon
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gaviiformes
Family:Gaviidae
Genus:Gavia
Species

Gavia stellata
Gavia arctica
Gavia pacifica
Gavia immer
Gavia adamsii

For other meanings of Loon, see Loon (disambiguation).
For other meanings of diver, also see diving.
In the Authorized Version of the Bible, "divers" often means "diverse, various".


The loon (N.Am.) or diver (UK) is a type of aquatic bird found in many parts of North America and northern Europe. A loon is the size of a large duck, to which it is unrelated; its plumage is largely grey or black, and it has a spear-shaped bill. The loons compose a genus (Gavia), family (Gaviidae), and order (Gaviiformes) all their own.

These were previously considered the most ancient of the northern hemisphere bird families, but it has recently become clear that the Anseriformes (ducks, geese and swans) and the Galliformes (the pheasants and their allies) are older groups.

The European name diver comes from the bird's habit of catching fish by swimming calmly along the surface and then abruptly plunging into the water; the North American name loon comes from the bird's haunting, yodeling cry, a symbol of the Canadian wilds.

Loons swim well, and fly adequately (their bones are much denser than those of most birds), but are almost hopeless on land. The larger loons have difficulty taking off, becoming airborne only after skimming the surface of the water for a couple of hundred meters; some observers state that they are scarcely any better at landing. Because these birds locate their prey underwater mainly by sight, they prefer lakes with clear water.

Loons breed on inland freshwater lakes and ponds, but move to the coasts in winter, and often move much further south. The nest is usually a mound of plant material close to water. A pair may mate for life. Loons can live as long as 30 years.

There are five species of loon:

The Common Loon is the national bird of Canada and is depicted on the Canadian one-dollar coin, which has come to be known affectionately as the loonie. It is also the official provincial bird of Ontario and the official state bird of Minnesota.

External links

de:Seetaucher eo:Gaviedoj it:Gaviiformes ja:アビ目 nl:Gaviidae nn:Lom pl:Nury zh:潜鸟属 he:צוללנאים

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