Molting Adult Pacific Loon

Lake Ontario at Oshawa Harbour on 29 October 2010


Pacific Loons breed on the Hudson Bay coast of northern Ontario and they winter on the Pacific. They are a rare find in southern Ontario.

David Worthington first spotted this Pacific Loon at about 10:30 a.m. from the pier in Oshawa harbour. It is an adult molting into basic (winter) plumage. 29 October 2010.


The chinstrap is visible. The dark spots on the chin and throat are remnants of alternate (breeding) plumage, as are the large and small white spots on the back.


Molting head and neck


At about 11:45 a.m. there were two Pacific Loons. The second one was greyer on the head and neck, white on the chin and throat with a distinct chinstrap and it still had large white spots on the back. Is one of these the same as the one Geoff Carpentier found on Sunday 24 October?



Pacific Loon with more breeding plumage and less molted into winter plumage. Photo by Janice Melendez


Small Winter Loon ID an article by Ron Pittaway and Michael King


Pacific, Red-throated and Common Loons at Oshawa Harbour on 1 November 2011