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loon pics of Little Qualicum Estuary

Posted: Dec 12 4:56 pm
by TimoSnieder
Hi birders,

New to the forum.
I was looking for the Arctic Loon off Little Qualicum Estuary last weekend, I noticed this one seemed to be a little huskier than the others. I put pics of 2 sure pacifics for comparison.
Seeking 'expert opinions'.

Couldn't figure out how to copy past pictures onto here, so here is a link to the pics:

https://ragingbirder.blogspot.com/2020/ ... river.html

Re: loon pics of Little Qualicum Estuary

Posted: Dec 12 7:02 pm
by BirdingBC
I had a good look and I think the bird in question is a Pacific Loon as well.

Both Pacific and Arctic loons appear very similar however an Arctic Loon would typically show white on its flanks and hip (the main ID field mark). The bird recently spotted off the little Qualicum estuary included reports of white flanks/hip observed. Now, there is some question as this bird seems low in the water and possible the white flank/hip feathers are obscured however I think we would see at least a hint of white and I am not seeing that. The bird also appears to have a faint chin strap, a field mark in pacific loons that does not occur in arctic loons.

For the other loon species, I don't think this is a common loon, yellow-billed loon, or red-throated loon.

I am not 100% sure but Pacific Loon would be my guess.

Welcome to the forums and good birding,

Re: loon pics of Little Qualicum Estuary

Posted: Dec 15 10:36 am
by phainopepla6
Pretty sure it is a pacific loon