Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
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Common Loon Migration

Summer Range: Common loons move northward in early spring, often landing on lakes immediately after ice cover has melted. Loons breed across the northern United States and northward throughout Alaska and Canada. Their main migration routes follow the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the Mississippi River.

Winter Range: In the early fall, Common loons gather on lakes in preparation for migration to their winter waters. Loons born earlier that spring are the last to head south, sometimes as late as November, because they need the extra time to grow and strengthen for the long migration flight. On their journey south, loons migrate during the day, flying singly or in groups. They spend winter along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts or on large inland lakes from Alaska to southern Mexico.

ML Reeb writer: Laurence Wiland design: T. Yao