Colymbus arcticus Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden. Two subspecies recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Black-throated diver; French: Plongeon Arctique; German: Prachttaucher; Spanish; Colimbo Arctico.
23.6–29.6 in (60–75 cm); 5.7 lb (2.6 kg). Very similar to the smaller Pacific loon. Black upperparts with white patches, white underparts, black throat, and gray head and neck (darker near bill). Differentiated from the Pacific loon by white flanks, darker nape, more distinct white stripes on neck. In hand, throat shows faint greenish iridescence. Basic, juvenal, and second alternate plumages similar, with gray upperparts, crown, and nape and white underparts.
Breeds from extreme western Alaska across northern Eurasia to northern Scotland. Winters coastally from Japan to China and Europe.
Breeds on medium-to-large lakes and ponds in northern forests and tundra; winters on coasts.
Similar to the Pacific loon.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Consumes a wide variety of fish, similar to other loons. Has been observed catching frogs.
Incubation 28–29 days, flight 60 days. In Scotland, artificial breeding platforms have been used to increase chick production by an estimated 44%.
Most populations stable, not listed on IUCN Red List of Threatened Birds.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
A species of interest for many people. Nest platform programs have been started in Scotland, where populations have declined.
Copyright © 2014 Animalia Life | All rights reserved