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Montrose Point, Lincoln Park, Chicago
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Gaviiformes > Gaviidae

Red-throated Loon

Gavia stellata

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Identification

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Small and slender loon that winters in saltwater. In winter, they are gray above and white below. Look closely at shape: slender neck and thin bill usually held at an upward angle. Breeds in the Arctic. In summer, note smooth gray head, brick-red throat, white chest, and dark body. Dives frequently, feeding on fish. Occasionally seen on large freshwater lakes during migration. Sometimes gathers in loose flocks where food is plentiful. Separated from other loons by thinner bill.

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