The Yellow-billed Loon

Birds of North America
By: , and 



The Yellow-billed Loon, known in Europe as the White-billed Diver, is a relatively rare bird nesting in arctic tundra regions of North America and Eurasia. This species was first described by G. R. Gray in 1859 (1), and named (Gavia adamsii) after the surgeon Dr. Edward Adams (who collected the first specimen) aboard the H.M.S. Enterprise on a voyage through Bering Strait. The Yellow-billed Loon is closely related and similar in appearance to the Common Loon (G. immer), but distinguished from the latter by bill shape and color. Further, the Yellow-billed Loon breeds generally north of the range of its more widespread relative, although the 2 species overlap on marine wintering grounds in the Pacific Northwest. Increasingly, however, vagrant Yellow-billed Loons have been recorded wintering well inland in North America, a phenomenon that likely stems in part from improved information on field identification of loons in Basic plumage.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Title The Yellow-billed Loon
Series title Birds of North America
DOI 10.2173/bna.yebloo.02
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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