Common Loon

comloo
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Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Endangered

Common Loon

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
Zoom InOut
Focal Species
Glenn Bartley/Audubon Photography Awards
Cool Facts

Unlike most birds, it has nearly solid bones, which makes it heavier and helps it dive for fish.

The Common Loon is born with brown eyes, which start to turn red later in its first year.

Because its legs are located so far to the rear of its body, the water bird is unable to walk easily on land.

Best known for its mournful, wailing call, it is capable of producing a variety of other sounds, including short yelps and hoots.


By 2080, this great icon of the north is forecast to lose 56 percent of its current summer range and 75 percent of its current winter range, according to Audubon’s climate model. In both seasons the potential to shift northwards in a warming climate is significant. While the bird may be able to keep pace with the rapidly changing world, it looks all but certain that Minnesota will lose its iconic loons in summer by the end of the century.

 

Are the projected range maps different from the range maps in field guides? Find the answer here.

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.

About This Bird

With its brilliant red eyes and haunting call, the Common Loon is one of the most recognizable water birds in North America. A denizen of freshwater systems in the summer, it breeds throughout most of Canada and some parts of the northern United States, and migrates south along both the eastern and western North American shorelines each winter. It prefers large, clear lakes in the summer and for parts of its migration, the better to spot fish, and is mostly found on ocean waters in the winter. An expert diver, it uses its large, webbed feet to propel itself after prey, which it often swallows while still underwater. The loon often gathers in clusters, sleeping in large groups at night and foraging together during the day.

Cool Facts

Unlike most birds, it has nearly solid bones, which makes it heavier and helps it dive for fish.

The Common Loon is born with brown eyes, which start to turn red later in its first year.

Because its legs are located so far to the rear of its body, the water bird is unable to walk easily on land.

Best known for its mournful, wailing call, it is capable of producing a variety of other sounds, including short yelps and hoots.


Birds at Risk

Explore more birds threatened by climate change around the country.

Allen's Hummingbird
Baird's Sparrow
Bald Eagle
Brown Pelican
Burrowing Owl
Cerulean Warbler
Common Loon
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Golden Eagle
Greater Sage-Grouse
Hooded Oriole
Mississippi Kite
Northern Shoveler
Osprey
Piping Plover
Ruffed Grouse
Rufous Hummingbird
Spotted Owl
Tundra Swan
White-throated Sparrow
Yellow-billed Magpie