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Loons: Gaviiformes

Physical Characteristics

The anatomy of the loon is specifically geared toward its need to capture fish. Its body is torpedo-shaped, and its neck is thick but longer than the average water bird. There are three toes on each of the two webbed feet, and the legs are toward the back of the body. Though the loons' underparts are totally white, the upperparts are dark gray or black, and the wings have a black-and-white checked pattern on them. All loons have red eyes and long beaks.

Adults range from 2.2 to 13.8 pounds (1 to 6.3 kilograms) and measure about 3 feet (almost 1 meter) long. Males are slightly larger than females.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsLoons: Gaviiformes - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Loons And People, Red-throated Loon (gavia Stellata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, CONSERVATION STATUS