The far-carrying laughs and yodels of the Common Loon (Gavia immer) are among the most extraordinary sounds in nature. Although this bird is a strong flier, it can take off only from water, and a large body of water at that.
Its legs are set so far back, that it walks poorly, but once afloat the loon is completely at home. It occasionally rides with bill and eyes dipped below the surface, as if scouting, then dives in the wink of an eye.
A loon can swim long distances underwater, now and again poking its bill above the surface for air. Like the Common Loon, the smaller Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) winters mainly along the coast.