Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica), Tempe Town Lake, Maricopa County
This Pacific Loon was discovered on Tempe Town Lake by Pete Moulton and Cynthia
Donald on 11 January 2009 and it was photographed by Michael Moore on 12 January
2009. This is likely the same bird that was previously at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale
(see here). The face pattern looked subtly different in the field, but the lighting is so different it is hard to compare these images with the images of the Scottsdale bird.
Pacific Loon has been regular in the Lower Colorado River Valley in recent years
but elsewhere in the state it is a casual transient and winter visitor.
There are no records of the very similar Arctic Loon
in Arizona. The field mark usually cited for Arctic Loon is a white patch
at the water line. Note that this bird is showing a white patch at the
water line. However, the patch on Arctic Loon is usually further back and
more triangular or wedge shaped. Pacific Loons can show white like this so application
of this field mark must be done with care. Arctic Loon lacks the chin
12 January 2009, digiscoped photos by Michael MooreAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 13 January 2009