Saturday, July 10, 2010

Coastal BC Birds: Red-throated Loon

Red-throated Loon

The other day, Wayne and I heard the cry of a loon, but it didn't sound just right. Where we live, the typical species is the Common Loon. At a distance, the body shape was the same. But as he came closer, I noticed a big difference in the colouring.

The Common Loon is black and white. This bird was more gray and white, and had a brick red throat. I looked it up in my guide and discovered it was a Red-throated Loon.

I discovered the Red-throated Loon is not common in Coastal BC during summer months. They prefer the Arctic for breeding and return to our shores in the winter. I've seen two birds swimming side-by-side, so they might be a breeding pair. Is this a result of our cool start to summer? Whatever the case, I've enjoyed hearing the calls of our visiting Red-throated Loons and watching them ply the waters of Hole in the Wall. Has anyone else seen nesting Red-throated Loons this summer? -- Margy


  1. How beautiful! And good for you for recognizing something different!

  2. How very beautiful this bird is. I love the loon and often hear them in the distance...there is a lake not far from me. I will have to take a trip to the lake to see what kind of loons they are. Interesting post!

  3. Red-throated Loons are an uncommon nesting species on the southern coast of British Columbia. Nests have been noted on Powell Lake in the past. Usually on uninhabited float cabins.
    The sighting of a pair on that lake during nesting season would be a great addition to the British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas project!

  4. I'd never heard of a "red-throated loon" but this is fascinating! Love your photos with the reflections of the trees and the loon!


  6. The Loon is my favorite bird - we just get the common Loon. HOw exciting that you got the red throated Loon - they both have such beautiful calls.

  7. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    Guy - I check out the birding web links. I signed up for the bird reporting but will need some time to study the information. The link you provided for the red-throated loon and nest pictures was great. I think that is the same pair. He sure got some great shots. My little camera just can't get those distance shots. I wonder where the nest was located. It must be nearby to see them by my cabin so much.


  8. Paul den Ouden9:02 AM

    Glad you liked my pictures Margy, and I'm pleased to have found your blog!


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy