Familiar to Canadians as the animal gracing the dollar coin, loons are diving birds that spend most of their lives in water. The word ‘loon’ is a derivation of a Scandinavian word that refers to a lame or clumsy person, and refers to the loon’s awkward gait on land. In Britain, loons are known instead as divers. Loons can dive down to 80 m (over 260 ft) and stay beneath the surface for up to a minute.
At 70 cm to 90 cm (28–35 in.) in length, and 2.5 kg to 7 kg (6–15 lb.) in weight, loons are smaller than geese, but larger than ducks. Males tend to be larger than females, but both sexes otherwise look the same…
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