Red-throated Loon juvenile 11/8/17

Red-throated Loons are both smaller and sleeker than their Common Loon cousins. They ride lower in the water and have thinner bills with a slight upturned and more pointy appearance. This one’s a juvenile told by its overall dull gray head and neck, winter adults have bright white throats, necks, and undersides with dark gray caps. The red throat is seen in both sexes but only in the breeding season. I see many RTLs at this time of year, and this year they seem especially abundant, but as winter progresses they seem to disappear. The only hypothesis I’ve come up with is that the places I tend to see them also happen to be frequented by Snowy Owls in recent years later in the winter and perhaps they become prey.

Leave a Comment