Red-throated Loon

photo by Phil Swanson

Gavia stellata
L 25″ (64 cm).

Song or calls:
Short, wailing yelp.

Description: Sexes similar. Thin, pale bill, slightly upturned. Tends to hold head tilted slightly up. Winter birds gray on head and nape, with extensive, clearly defined white on face and white spotting on back. Immatures similar to winter birds.

Habitat: Large lakes, and reservoirs.

Where in Nebraska: Occurs as a rare casual fall migrant in the eastern portion of the state and as a rare casual spring migrant in the central portion. Accidental elsewhere. No breeding records in Nebraska.

Field Notes: In flight has humpbacked appearance, with head and neck held below line of body.

Fun Facts: Unlike other loons, the Red-throated Loon does not carry its young on its back.

juvenile Red-throated Loon - photo by Phil Swanson Red-throated Loon - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)