English Name Arctic Loon
Scientific Name Gavia arctica
German Name Prachttaucher
Spanish Name Colimbo Artico
French Name Plongeon arctique
Arctic Loon
Peters Family Name GAVIIDAE:Loons Order 195.0
Sibley Monroe Family Name GAVIIDAE:Loons Order 3904.0
Gill Family Name GAVIIDAE:Loons Order 1769.0
New 2013 Family Name GAVIIDAE: Loons Order 203.0
English Synonyms
  • Black-throated Loon
  • Green-throated Loon(viridigularis)
$Urinator bailloni Lacépède & Daudin,1802["1799"],in Buffon,Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux(18mo,Didot),Quadr.14,p.311,Ois.,16,p.176.(coast of Picardy)
Authority (Linnaeus 1758)
Habitat Breeds on fairly large,deep freshwater lakes,preferably with islets.More typically in taiga & boreal zone,less in arctic tundra than Gavia stellata.Winters in inshore waters along shelterd coasts,occasionally inland
Breeding "Dependent on spring thaw." (HBW,1,p.172)
Migratory and dispersive. Some Scottish breeding lochs deserted August, but movement to salt water chiefly September–October; return about April. In Lapland and Russia, timing of movements to and from breeding lakes associated with thawing and freezing of fresh waters; spring return faster. Some reach Baltic by September and most at sea by mid-October, but November record from Taimyr and December ones from Smolensk indicate protracted nature of autumn passage. Main departures from Baltic and Black Sea winter quarters from mid-April to mid-May; reaches Murmansk and Lapland coasts from late April, moving inland early May; but breeding lakes not reoccupied until late May or early June on northern tundras. Non-breeders occasionally summer well south of breeding range. Wintering area of Scottish breeders unknown (no relevant recoveries). Evidently some immigration into or through British coastal waters (scarce Ireland), since winter numbers believed to exceed size of breeding population; winter visitors in North Sea probably Norwegian breeders as no recoveries there despite large-scale ringing in Baltic. Movements of Continental populations generally better understood; Baltic important wintering area and migration route for birds breeding over vast region from Scandinavia to at least Taimyr Peninsula, latter travelling over 6000 km. Tundra breeders said to migrate north to arctic seas before turning west towards Scandinavia, but subsequent movements unknown and concept perhaps speculative. Most important routes from Rusia appear to be those of forest-zone breeders (at least) which move west to south-west overland; doubtless some fly direct to Black Sea winter quarters, which others reach flying overland across east Europe from Baltic, mainly October and November. Apparently major northward movement In spring from Black Sea to Baltic, as large numbers passing Kaliningrad in May, thence east into Russia. Some Fenno–Scandian birds among those reaching Black Sea, where 2 recoveries from Sweden and one from Finland; Small numbers occur Mediterranean (singles ringed Baltic recovered Aegean and Adriatic) and larger lakes of central Europe; one ringed Switzerland found in May in Komi ASSR. Breeders from south-west Siberia thought to winter in Turkestan and on Caspian Sea.
East Siberian race, G. a. viridigularis, migrates east to south-east to Pacific and Bering Sea, but possibly straggles to Europe; several in summer plumage ringed Kaliningrad in May believed viridigularis (or intergrades) and one from there recovered at 129°E on Lena delta.
Thanks to BWP on CD-ROM