Sexes are similar. winter, adult Common Loons appear similar to young birds, with dark gray heads and back con-trasting with a white belly. Learn the answers to these and many more questions in this short, informative multi-media webinar. Underparts are all white. What do they eat? How are they impacted by climate change? Common Loons are large, goose sized, black and white diving birds that spend their sum-mer on open fresh water lakes and winter on the seacoast. Listen: Winter Loons by Chris Paige. A long-bodied, low-slung diver. Where do loons go in winter? The white feathers of the belly and wing linings are present year-round. In such places they are solitary while feeding, but may gather in loose flocks at night. In their winter range, loons are found near land, in bays and estuaries. Loons’ habit of swimming low in the water helps to distinguish them from other waterbirds, such as ducks and geese. Each week, the haunting wail of the common loon opens the Field Notes program. Mating season runs from May to early June. Loons’ habit of swimming low in the water helps to distinguish them from other waterbirds, such as ducks and geese. Winter Loons by Chris Paige Broadcast 1.12.2016. As winter approaches, loons migrate to Pacific and Atlantic coasts. 4 One of the oldest species of birds, loons are very heavy because of their solid bones unusual in the bird world. Many people consider the loon a symbol of wilderness; its rich yodeling and moaning calls, heard by day or night, are characteristic sounds of early summer in the north woods. During molting, loons are flightless: common, yellow-billed, arctic and Pacific loons (Gavia immer, G. adamsii, G. arctica and G. pacifica , respectively) molt in late winter and red-throated loons (G. stellata) in autumn. Photo by John Picken, CC 2.0 license. The webinar also looks at population changes over the last 33 years, research on causes of mortality, and efforts to conserve their lake habitat in Maine. In winter, silent and more subtly marked, Common Loons inhabit coastal waters and large southern lakes. Breeding: Loons make nests, produced by both female and male, in quiet protected spots along the sides of lakes. Common Loons are powerful, agile divers that catch small fish in fast underwater chases. How many are in Maine? Maine loons have short migratory routes, spending winters along the Maine coast, while loons that breed in the central US migrate to the Gulf of Mexico. Most people in Maine are very familiar with the wail of the Common Loon from across a lake. In winter, they are plain gray above and white below, and you’ll find them close to shore on most seacoasts and a good many inland reservoirs and lakes. All loons have greyish feathers in the winter, and immature birds tend to resemble adult birds in winter plumage. The eerie calls of Common Loons echo across clear lakes of the northern wilderness. The white feathers of the belly and wing linings are present year-round. For winter, dense plumage molts to an unspotted grey. Summer adults are regally patterned in black and white. All loons have greyish feathers in the winter, and immature birds tend to resemble adult birds in winter plumage.