Loons are thought to be one of the oldest species of birds still in existence. They can live as long as 35 years and often mate for life. They require a lake 10 hectares or more in size, some privacy and a good nest site. They are awkward on land and can only take off over open water. They eat fish and small aquatic animals.
Loons over-winter on the ocean; unlike other fresh water waterfowl, they are equipped to deal with salt water.
The total numbers of loons in North America is between 250,000 and 500,000; most of these nest in Canada. A very small number of pairs nest in the United States. The loon population has declined over the past 150 years in North America due to: