Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii), Colorado River, Parker, AZ, Mohave County
This Yellow-billed Loon was
discovered by David Vander Plyum, Lauren Harter, Andrew and Vernon Howe, Sandy
Koonce, Sandy Remley, and Bob and Susan Steele on 15 January 2011 and it was photographed by
Sandy Remley on 15 January 2011 and by John West on 19 January 2011.
There are six previously accepted records for Arizona, four of those in the
Lower Colorado River Valley.
On this bird, the size, shape and color of the bill are diagnostic for
Yellow-billed Loon. Note especially the lack of a dark line on the culmen. On
Common Loon in this plumage there is almost always a dark line across the culmen
extending almost to the tip of the bill. This bird also has the characteristic
pale head and neck of a Yellow-billed and when in relaxed swimming posture holds
the bill at an uptilted angle. In some poses there is a sharp peak in the crown,
a feature that is probably more prominent in males. The post auricular
spot on this bird is very faint and only visible at certain angles. The pale
edges of the back feathers are characteristic of first winter plumage.
15 January 2011, photo by Sandy Remley
19 January 2011, photos by John West
All photos are copyrighted© by photographer