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"Pacific Loon"
Pacific Loon:    In 1985 the American Ornithologistsí Union split the species formerly known as Arctic Loon (Gavia arctica) into two separate species, with the Old World form retaining the former name and the form breeding in North America renamed Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica).

Ehrlich, Dobkin, and Wheye, in their 1988 publication "The Birder's Handbook", wrote "While loons may be thought to have been named for their crazy calls, the term actually is a corruption of the word loom which means 'lame' in the language of the Shetland Island, and refers to the awkwardness of these birds on land."


The Pacific Loon was discovered by Lewis and Clark while on their 1805/1806 exploration of the Columbia River. Captain Clark wrote about the Pacific Loon - which he called a "Speckled loon" - on March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:

"... There are two Species of Loons. 1st the Speckled loon found on every part of the rivers of this quarter, they are the Same Size Colour and form with those of the Ohio, and atlantic coasts [Pacific Loon].    the 2d Species we first met with at the great falls of the Columbia and from thence down [Western Grebe].    this bird is not more than half the Size of the Speckled loon, it's neck is long, Slender and white in front. the colour of the body and back of the neck and hear are of a dun or ash Colour, the breast and belly are white. the back is like that of the Speckled loon, and like them it cannot fly, but flutters along on the top of the water or Dives for Security when pursued. ..."


Non-breeding Plumage
January ... Burke Slough at Woodland, Washington ...

Image, 2012, Burke Slough, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2012, Burke Slough, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Burke Slough, Woodland, Washington. Overcast and gray. Image taken January 31, 2012. Canon EOS 7d, 400mm.
Image, 2012, Burke Slough, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Burke Slough, Woodland, Washington. Overcast and gray. Image taken January 31, 2012. Canon EOS 7d, 400mm.


August ... Pacific Ocean, South Jetty at Clatsop Spit, Oregon ...

Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Weather overcast and grey and surprisingly no drizzle. Image taken August 8, 2009. Canon Rebel XSi, 200z w/1.4.
Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Weather overcast and grey and surprisingly no drizzle. Image taken August 8, 2009. Canon Rebel XSi, 200z w/1.4.


November ... Columbia River at Broughton Beach, Oregon ...

Image, 2011, Broughton Beach, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2011, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon. Weather windy sunny fall day. Image taken November 2, 2011. Canon Rebel T3i, 300mm.
Image, 2011, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon. Weather windy sunny fall day. Image taken November 2, 2011. Canon Rebel T3i, 300mm.
Image, 2011, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon. Weather windy sunny fall day. Image taken November 2, 2011. Canon Rebel T3i, 300mm.


... more ...

Image, 2011, Broughton Beach, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pacific Loon, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon. Overcast and gray. Image taken November 4, 2011. Canon Rebel T3i, 300mm.



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November 2011