Red-throated Loons Milwaukee River Mouth, Milwaukee Lakefront, February 23, 2014

The area of the mouth of the Milwaukee River on the Milwaukee Lakefront produced 3 Red-throated Loons. Some of the other species present and photographed were White-winged Scoters, Common Goldeneyes, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Greater Scaups.


Red-throated Loon

Red-throated Loon

Binomial name: Gavia stellata

Category: Loons

Description: Dark gray feathers with a white throat and underparts, small black and white strips on the back of its neck.  In breeding season, the throat turns red, thus the name.  Small bill which fluctuates between black and dark gray.

Size: 21” – 27” long, 36” – 47” wingspan

Weight: 2.2 lbs. – 6.0 lbs.

Habitat: Large lakes, coastal shorelines, inland rivers, and reservoirs.

Diet: Primarily fish, occasionally crustaceans, frogs, and aquatic invertebrates, rarely plants

Nesting: Both parents build the nest out of a mudscrape lined with plant material and some feathers.  The male will stand guard while the female incubates the eggs (2 eggs per clutch).  Both parents feed and raise the young and participate in distraction displays to lure predators away from the nest.  Mating pairs will breed for life.

Notes: Unlike other loon species which must take flight by running on the surface of water, the Red-throated Loon can fly directly from land or water.  It also does not carry its young on its back.


Red-throated Loon


Red-throated Loon


Red-throated Loon


Red-throated Loon


Red-throated Loon

White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoter


Female Common Goldeneye


Male Common Goldeneye


Male Red-breasted Merganser


Female Red-breasted Merganser


Male Greater Scaup


Male Greater Scaup

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

4 Responses to Red-throated Loons Milwaukee River Mouth, Milwaukee Lakefront, February 23, 2014

  1. Michael J. matusinec says:

    Those are some great captures, love the loons. I have never seen any in person, awesome.

  2. Elaine says:

    Jim – these are beautiful – waves are splashing right off my computer screen! I’ve never seen a scoter – a bit sinister looking – maybe like our expression from Polar Vortex. Capturing the birds in fluid movement is always so wonderful to see. Thank you for sharing these exquisite birds, Jim!

  3. Nancy Nabak says:

    I’ve got a crush on your photos, Jim! : ) Nice, nice, nice!

  4. Sue says:

    Just beautiful, thank you!

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