Red-throated Loon (Gavia Stellata)
Status in the Checklist Area - (5) Accidental

A small and slender loon that is noticably smaller than the Common Loon that we're used to seeing. The Red-throated Loon is common in the winter on the coast of B.C. on open water but is rarely seen inland. Breeds in the far north tundra on small ponds. Migrates south for the winter as far south as Baja California. Our only loon species that can take off directly from land or the water (all others need a running start on water).

Similar species:
Loons in juvenile or winter plumage can be difficult to tell apart. Red-Throated Loons are small with thinner necks, smaller heads and thinner and shorter bills than the Common Loon. Pacific Loon, rare to our area, comes closest in size and proportions but differs in the pattern on the back and the head and neck markings..

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)

Noteworthy Data
30-Oct-2012 Island 22, Chilliwack G. Gadsden, 2012h Juvenile. Last seen November 13, 2012. Photographed.
29-Feb-2008 Matsqui Trail, Abbotsford L. Jellicoe, 2008 Observed just downstream of the Mission Bridge.
17-Feb-2008 Mill Lake, Abbotsford S. Olson, 2008 Winter adult. Last recorded February 23, 2008. Photographed.
29-Dec-2007 Nelson Street, Mission S. Olson, 2008, National Audubon Society, 2007 Recorded on the Abbotsford/Mission Christmas Bird Count. Seen later that day from Chester St.
07-Oct-2004 Fraser River, Chilliwack G. Gadsden, 2004 Juvenile near the mouth of the Sumas River. Field notes.
Audio and Video    
None available

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