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 Red-throated Loon

Status in Michigan
Uncommon Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Red-throated Loon.

Use the links below to view the Red-throated Loon reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Red-throated Loon sightings.
Red-throated Loon Archives Reports
Fall 2003 21
Spring 2003 59
Winter 02-03 26
Fall 2002 11
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 81
Winter 01-02 6
Fall 2001 5
Summer 2001 1
Spring 2001 4
Winter 00-01 3
Fall 2000 37
Summer 2000 0
Spring 2000 14
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 14
Spring/Summer 1999 3

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Red-throated Loon

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Red-throated Loon
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Red-throated Loon
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Gavia stellata (Pontoppidan)
Red-throated Loon

Rare transient and winter visitant. Recorded in summer from Chip- pewa County.

First authoritatively listed for Michigan by Gibbs (1879: 496).

Gibbs (1879: 496; 1885: 190; 1889: 188) found the Red-throated Loon common in the 1870's and 1880's, when it was seen in open spots on the rivers of Kalamazoo County some winters "in flocks of five to ten, some- times more." For the period since the 1880's there are some 25 records (in- cluding 12 specimens, 9 in U.M.M.Z.). Since 1930 the species has been re- ported in Michigan every year except 1932 and 1937. In most instances only a single individual was noted, usually along the Great Lakes shores.

SPRING.-Migration apparently occurs in April and May. A specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected in the Ann Arbor region on April 15, 1880, and the species was also reported there on April 25, 1926; April 26, 1925; and April 29, 2023 (N. A. Wood and Tinker, 1934: 4). Frank N. Wilson photographed one (in breeding plumage) in the region as late as May 18 (1925). One was taken by J. Claire Wood (1905: 217) on Grosse He, Wayne County, on May 9, 1904. Gibbs (1885: 190) had not recorded this loon in Kalamazoo County later than April 25, but Barrows (1912: 42) recorded 8 or 10 taken in Berrien County during May (1904). A specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected at Saugatuck, Allegan County, by Durward L. Alien on March 24, 1939, and one (U.M.M.Z.) at Honor, Benzie County, by Frank Hoard on March 2 (1936-the earliest spring record for Michigan). Brodkorb recorded 1 at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 18, 1936, and a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected at Marquette on May 17, 1941, by E. Tuomela.

SUMMER.-Two specimens (U;M.M.Z.) were collected at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, 1 on June 4, 1930, by W. B. Tyrrell (1931: 131), 1 on July 14, 1931, by Alien F. Sherzer. A specimen (U.M.M.Z.) taken alive at Ann Arbor on July 13, 1940, by William Corson, had partly healed shot marks on the feet and was probably a delayed spring migrant.

FALL.-Specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were taken on Lake Superior, near Marquette, on October 5, 1930, and October 20, 1931; Christofferson re- ported 1 at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, on October 23 and 24, 1933, and collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Sault Ste Marie, on October 18, 1920; B. D. Owens took 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Grass Lake, Emmet County, in November, 1928; Pirnie reported 1 at Muskegon Lake, Muskegon County, on November 14, 1938; Walkinshaw and R. E. Olsen saw 1 at St. Joseph, Berrien County, November 5, 1933; 1 was taken at Point Mouillee, Monroe County, on November 11, 2023 (Blain, 1904a: 91; Swales and Taverner, 1905: 88); Miller Empey collected 1 near Freeland, Saginaw County, on December 14, 1934.

WINTER.-Frank Wharfield has a specimen (identified by Christofferson) taken at Seul Choix Point, Schoolcraft County, on February 15, 1934.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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