The loons (North America) or divers (UK/Ireland) are a group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Eurasia. All living species of loons are members of one genus, Gavia, family, Gaviidae, and order Gaviiformes all of their own.
The loons are the size of a large duck or small goose, which they somewhat resemble in shape when swimming. Their plumage is largely black-and-white, with grey on the head and neck in some species, and a white belly, and all species have a spear-shaped bill.
The European name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of catching fish by swimming calmly along the surface and then abruptly plunging into the water. The North American name loon comes from the bird’s haunting, yodelling cry.