• 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
    TownshipAddison
    CountyAddison
    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

    none

    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.

    Head

    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

    Wings

    Not seen

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Breast was white, flanks dark, coverts not seen.

    Tail

    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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