Range. - North America north of the Mex- ican boundary, breeding from the northern parts of the United States northward.
Unlike the Grebes, Loons do not build in colonies, generally not more than one, or at the most two pairs nesting on the same lake or pond; neither do they seek the marshy sloughs in which Grebes dwell, preferring the more open, clear bodies of water. The common Loon may be known in summer by the entirely black head and neck with the complete ribbon of black and white stripes encircling the lower neck and the narrower one which crosses the throat. The back is spotted with white. In some sections Loons build no nest, simply scooping a hollow out in the sand, while in other places they construct quite a large nest of sticks, moss and grasses. It is usually placed but a few feet from the waters edge, so that at the least suspicion the bird can slide off its eggs into the water, where it can cope with any enemy. The nests are nearly al -ways concealed under the overhanging bushes that line the shore; the one shown in the full page illustration, however, was located upon the top of an old muskrat house. The two eggs which they lay are a very dark greenish brown in color, with black spots. Size 3.50 x 2.25. Data. - Lake Sunapee, N. H., June 28, 1895. Nest placed under the bushes at the waters edge. Made of rushes, weeds and grasses; a large structure nearly three feet in diameter. Collector, H. A. Collins.
Loon Black-throated Loon