The Great Northern Diver, also known as the Common Loon breeds in Canada, parts of the northern United States, Greenland, and Alaska. There is a smaller population (ca. 3,000 pairs) in Iceland. On isolated occasions they have bred in the far north of Scotland. The female lays 1 to 3 eggs on a hollowed-out mound of dirt and vegetation very close to water. Both parents build the nest, sit on the egg or eggs, and feed the young.

This species winters on sea coasts or on large lakes over a much wider range in Europe and the British Isles as well as in North America.

Breeding adults have a black head, white underparts, and a checkered black-and-white mantle. Non-breeding plumage is brownish, with the chin and fore neck white. The bill is black-blue and held horizontally. The bill color and angle distinguish this species from the similar White-billed Diver.

This species, like all divers, is a specialist fish-eater, catching its prey underwater, diving as deep as 200 feet (60 m). Freshwater diets consist of pike, perch, sunfish, trout, and bass; salt-water diets consist of rock fish, flounder, sea trout, and herring.

I love the Loons. I love the call of the Loon, so haunting and beautiful. I witnessed one catching a Perch the other day to feed to her young baby. Got a shot, but not a good one.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi; Sigma 150-500mm lens
1/800 sec.; F/6.3; 500mm; ISO 400
Falcon Lake, Manitoba, Whiteshell Provincial Park

Self taught photographer enjoying retirement in travel and meeting fellow members of Redbubble.

View Full Profile


  • dougie1page2
    dougie1page2over 5 years ago

    he’s a beauty!

  • thanks Dougie

    – Vickie Emms

  • jesika
    jesikaover 5 years ago

    A beautiful image, Vickie, of a very handsome bird.

  • thank you so much Jes x

    – Vickie Emms

  • Teresa Zieba
    Teresa Ziebaover 5 years ago

    Wow, fabulous image hon and I think it’s from the second day as the water looks a little bit different. Am I right?

  • good eye hon, yes this was on Thursday, closer to the southshore. The colors are reflections from the cottages. Thanks for your stop and wonderful comments as always

    – Vickie Emms

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenover 5 years ago

    Beautiful capture of this loon Vickie !!! They are so pretty, and love the detail you captured on this beauty !!

  • thank you Sean, so much appreciated

    – Vickie Emms

  • RickGeorge
    RickGeorgeover 5 years ago

    great capture…highly detailed with excellent colourations.

  • thanks very much Richard, for your wonderful comment

    – Vickie Emms

  • loralea
    loraleaover 5 years ago

    gorgeous shot!!!!!!

  • thanks so much Laura Lea

    – Vickie Emms

  • Deborah  Benoit
    Deborah Benoitover 5 years ago

    Common but simply beautiful!!

  • oh Deb, I’m not sure which is my favorite to photograph, the eagle or the loon,,,,,,,,maybe it’s a tie, I find these guys so absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for your visit my friend.

    – Vickie Emms

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 5 years ago

    Wonderful detailed capture Vickie, I have been trying to get a decent capture, but to no avail, so far..This is an absolute beauty, as you can actually see the red eye…neat reflection in the waves as well…..inst fav, thanks

  • thank you very much Larry,,,,,,,,we were on the boat for this one, you pretty much have to be on a boat to get close enough, and even then they are hard to keep in the lens. Thank you for your visit

    – Vickie Emms

  • Stan Wojtaszek
    Stan Wojtaszekover 5 years ago

    Now that is an excellent shot, Vickie !! :))

  • thank you Stan,,,,,,,hand held with the ’big guy" and on the boat,,,,lol

    – Vickie Emms

  • Nancy Stafford
    Nancy Staffordover 5 years ago

    very beautiful image of the loon.. you caught him so well

  • thanks very much Nancy

    – Vickie Emms

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.