• Pacific loon

    Common NamePacific loon
    Scientific NameGavia pacifica
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation01/17/2021
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameSue Wetmore
    Mailing Address14 Maple St.
    Brandon, Vermont 05733
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed02/02/2021
    Latitude of Observation0
    Longitude of Observation0
    Place NameChamplain Bridge
    Time of Day11:37 AM
    Length of Time Observed20 minutes
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)1/4 mile
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)1/4
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Water was fairly calm.

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Vortex Razor 8x42
    Leica APO 20--60 scope

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    Have seen a PALO in December and in other years past.

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    Open water north of the bridge, ice was just north of the bridge as well. Bird was just beyond that.
    Greater & lesser scaup, C, goldeneye, c. mergansers, ring-billed & black-backed gulls.

    Behaviors Observed

    Loon was actively feeding, diving in its signature form and staying under for extended periods.

    Description of Vocalizations


    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    I saw a loon that had all dark flanks and back, neck had a sharp defined line between the white throat and black neck. The eye was within the black area on the upper head. Bill was slender and held level.

    Relative Size & Shape

    typical loon configuration, smaller than a COLO.


    Crown was black and extended over the eye, Chin and neck white down to the breast. Nape was black that continued down the back of the neck.
    At one view I detected a pale chin strap.

    Feet & Bill

    Bill was grayish, slender and moderate length.

    Upper Back

    All black.

    Lower Back & Rump

    All black


    Not seen

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Breast was white, flanks dark, coverts not seen.


    Not seen

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    Common loon , which is much bigger and heavier billed
    Red-throated loon has more white on neck and face and holds head in an upward angle.
    Arctic loon which has a white hip patch, upper parts grayish and not all black like the PALO.

    Other Notes & Comments

    It appeared to be an adult in winter plumage.

    This report was written from notes taken:Written from Memory

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