Common Loon

Minnesota State Bird


Common loon

Common loon; photo by Matthew (jackanapes) on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Official State Bird of Minnesota

The common loon (Gavia immer) was adopted as the official state bird of Minnesota in 1961. Loons are known for their cries, wails, and yodels - their eerie, echoing calls are a distinctive feature of Minnesota’s northern lakes.


Loons are large black and white birds with red eyes.

They have wingspans up to five feet and body lengths up to three feet.

Although clumsy on land, they are high-speed flyers and excellent underwater swimmers (they will dive to depths of 90 feet in pursuit of fish).

Approximately 12,000 of these unique birds make their summer homes in Minnesota.



Common Loon with chick on board (MasterClips photo).

Common Loon with chick

Minnesota "Critical Habitat" license plate featuring the state bird (common loon); photo by Norm Russo (used by permission).

Minnesota license plate features common loon


Voices: Common Loon