New York Natural Heritage Program
Common Loon
Gavia immer (Brunnich, 1764)

New York State Distribution [-]
Breeding loons are mostly restricted to the Adirondack Mountains, St. Lawrence Valley, and Lake Champlain. There are a few scattered records in the Tug Hill Plateau and in central New York. An apparent range expansion has occurred since the mid 1980s (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Especially noteworthy are the newly confirmed breeding records on Chautauqua, Keuka, and Skaneateles lakes in central and western New York. During the summer months nonbreeding loons can be found outside of the typical breeding range on large inland waterbodies and off the coast of Long Island. Migratory birds can be found throughout the state with an important flyway over the Finger Lakes. Wintering birds are typically found along the Atlantic Coast, but rarely on the Great Lakes (Levine 1998).

Global Distribution [-]
The breeding range of the Common Loon extends from Iceland and Greenland across Canada and the northern United States to Alaska, south to California, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, southern New England, and Nova Scotia (AOU 1983). Non-breeding loons are mainly found along the Pacific coast from Aleutians to Baja California and Sonora, along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Newfoundland to Florida and west to Texas, and in western Palearctic along the Atlantic coast to northwestern Africa (AOU 1983). In North America, wintering Common Loons are most concentrated along the South Carolina coast, around Vancouver Island, in northern California, along the Gulf Coast adjacent to the Florida panhandle, and along the Atlantic seaboard from Massachusetts to Maine (Root 1988).
Best Places to See
• Indian Lake (Hamilton County)
• Lows Lake (St. Lawrence County)