Gavia immer (Brunnich 1764)

Brief Summary

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The Common Loon or Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer), with its eerie yodeling and moaning calls, is often viewed as a symbol of the wilderness of the northern portions of North America and Europe, where it breeds (its calls are so evocative that filmakers often use them even in quite unrealistic geographic contexts to achieve a desired atmosphere). The breeding habitat of G. immer is mainly on lakes in the coniferous forest zone, as well as beyond the treeline into open tundra. The North American winter range includes the Pacific coast of North America from the Aleutian Islands south to Baja California and Colima, the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland south to southern Florida and west to Tamaulipas, and, less frequently (especially in the north) around inland waters throughout most of the continental United States. In the western Palearctic, G. immer winters along the Atlantic coast south to northwestern Africa, casually to the eastern Atlantic islands and through Europe to the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In the winter, they are found mainly on the ocean close to shore and on bays and inlets, as well as on large ice-free lakes and reservoirs. They feed mainly (although not exclusively) on small fish (up to around 25 cm), foraging by diving and swimming underwater. (Kaufman 1996; AOU 1998)

Shapiro, Leo
Shapiro, Leo
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