If any of you happen to be driving south on Highway 1 into Sonoma County
during the next couple of days, you may wish to swing into Bodega Bay for a
few minutes and attempt to locate an immature Yellow-billed Loon, which was
discovered there Saturday by Rusty Scalf. Though the bird apparently dives
for extended periods of time when feeding, it has been well seen by others.
Alan Wight, a birder from Petaluma who Dean Schuler and I met high in the
French Alps several years ago as we searched for Alpine Choughs,
photographed the bird yesterday. He has placed a couple of images of this
bird on his website at
Here is one of Alans images-Yellow-billed Loon
The Yellow-billed Loon, known in Britain as the White-billed Diver, is a
relatively rare bird that nests in the arctic tundra regions of North
America and Eurasia. This species is closely related to the Common Loon and
often confused with it. However, it is distinguished from the latter by bill
shape and color. The Yellow-billed Loon generally breeds further north of
the range of its smaller and more widespread relative, although the two
species overlap considerably on marine wintering grounds in the Pacific
Northwest. Increasingly Yellow-billed Loon has been recorded wintering well
inland in North America, a phenomenon that probably stems as much from
improved information on field identification of loons in Basic plumage as
from any shift in their range.
HTH and Good Birding,
WindandSea at The Sea Ranch
N 38°45'02" W 123° 31'27"
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