Baking: Pacific Loon

 

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Gavia pacifica

Length: 22-29 Weight: 2-5.5 lbs

Identification:

Black neck with white stripes along breast, sides, and throat. Gray head and back of neck. Compared to Arctic Loon, bill is thinner and lacks white patch on flanks.

arctic_loon.jpg

Distribution: 

Breed in Alaska and northern Canada, winters along the Pacific Coast south to Baja California.

Cool Facts:

Pacific and Arctic Loons were once considered the same species. Throughout the main part of each species’ range, both species have a purplish iridescence to their black throat. However, where the ranges overlap in Alaska, arctic loons have a greenish neck patch.

Pacific and Arctic Loons were once revered by Japanese fishermen as a messenger from heaven. The birds would cooperate to herd schools of small fish into a tight ball to feed, and fishermen would catch the larger fish that came in to feed as well.

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References:

All About Birds

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