Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Gaviiformes > Gaviidae > Gavia > Gavia adamsii

Gavia adamsii (Yellow-billed Loon)

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Wikipedia Abstract

The yellow-billed loon (Gavia adamsii), also known as the white-billed diver, is the largest member of the loon or diver family. Breeding adults have a black head, white underparts and chequered black-and-white mantle. Non-breeding plumage is drabber with the chin and foreneck white. The main distinguishing feature from great northern loon is the longer straw-yellow bill which, because the culmen is straight, appears slightly uptilted.
View Wikipedia Record: Gavia adamsii

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 20.9427
EDGE Score: 3.78158


Adult Weight [1]  11.13 lbs (5.05 kg)
Birth Weight [3]  160 grams
Female Maturity [1]  3 years
Male Maturity [1]  3 years
Breeding Habitat [2]  Arctic tundra
Wintering Geography [2]  Pacific Coast
Wintering Habitat [2]  Coastal marine
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [4]  80 %
Diet - Invertibrates [4]  20 %
Forages - Water Surface [4]  100 %
Clutch Size [5]  2
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  16,000
Migration [6]  Intercontinental
Speed [7]  41.83 MPH (18.7 m/s)
Wing Span [8]  4.7 feet (1.44 m)


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Arctic coastal tundra Canada, United States Nearctic Tundra    
Arctic desert Norway, Russia Palearctic Tundra    
Arctic foothills tundra Canada, United States Nearctic Tundra
Bering tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Cherskii-Kolyma mountain tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Chukchi Peninsula tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
East Siberian taiga Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Hokkaido deciduous forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Hokkaido montane conifer forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Low Arctic tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
Manchurian mixed forests Republic of Korea, Dem. People's Rep of Korea, China, Russia Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Mid-Continental Canadian forests Canada Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Middle Arctic tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
Nihonkai evergreen forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests    
Nihonkai montane deciduous forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests  
Northeast China Plain deciduous forests China Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Northeast Siberian coastal tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Northeast Siberian taiga Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Northern Canadian Shield taiga Canada Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Northwest Russian-Novaya Zemlya tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Scandinavian coastal conifer forests Norway Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Scandinavian Montane Birch forest and grasslands Norway, Sweden, Finland Palearctic Tundra
South Sakhalin-Kurile mixed forests Russia Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests    
Taiheiyo evergreen forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Taiheiyo montane deciduous forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Taimyr-Central Siberian tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
West Siberian taiga Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Yamal-Gydan tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Ib 2347132 Alaska, United States
Aleutian Islands Biosphere Reserve 2720489 Alaska, United States    
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Ib 12402936 Alaska, United States
Aulavik National Park II 3021211 Northwest Territories, Canada
Barguzinskiy Biosphere Reserve Zapovednik Ia 924970 Buryatia, Russia
California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve 153447 California, United States  
Denali Biosphere Reserve 1932364 Alaska, United States
Elkhorn Slough Preserve Nature Conservancy - Preserve Ia 964 California, United States  
Flamborough Head 15597 England, United Kingdom  
Gates of the Arctic National Park Ib 184461 Alaska, United States
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Ib 591068 Alaska, United States
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area V 1087901 Arizona, Utah, United States
Gulf Islands National Park National Park Reserve II 8785 British Columbia, Canada
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve II 366714 British Columbia, Canada
Gydansky State Nature Reserve 2170015 Yamalo-Nenets, Russia
Ivvavik National Park II 2382752 Yukon, Canada
Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve 174283 Murmansk, Karelia, Russia
Kenozersky National Park 345115 Arkhangelsk, Russia
Kronotskiy Biosphere Reserve 361480 Russia  
Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve 2822275 Kamchatka Krai , Russia
Lazovsky Zapovednik Ia 299030 Primorsky Krai, Russia
Magadan State Nature Reserve 2183959 Magadan, Russia
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve 293047 British Columbia, Canada  
Nahanni National Park Reserve II 1309627 Northwest Territories, Canada
Nenetsk State Nature Reserve 774428 Nenets, Russia
Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve 470167 Ontario, Canada  
Noatak Biosphere Reserve 7500143 Alaska, United States  
Olympic Biosphere Reserve II 922805 Washington, United States
Ostrov Vrangelya (Wrangel Island) Zapovednik Nature Monument III 180 Russia    
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve II 137900 British Columbia, Canada
Point Reyes National Seashore II 27068 California, United States
Poronaisky State Nature Reserve 140096 Sakhalin, Russia
Putoransky State Nature Reserve 4663499 Evenki, Taimyr, Russia
Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary Migratory Bird Sanctuary IV 15335601 Nunavut, Canada
Redwood National Park II 77867 California, United States
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area V 38440 California, United States
Sirmilik National Park II 5475284 Canada
Taimyrsky Biosphere Reserve Ia 4403240 Taimyr, Russia
Tuktut Nogait National Park II 5761538 Northwest Territories, Canada
Ukkusiksalik National Park II   Nunavut, Canada
Ust-Lensky State Nature Reserve 3541020 Sakha, Russia
Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve 5499701 Chukotka, Russia    
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Ib 2476446 Alaska, United States

Important Bird Areas

BirdLife Species Factsheet: View Factsheet
Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Teshekpuk Lake and East Dease Inlet USA A4i  
Vankarem lowlands and Kolyuchin bay Russia (Asian) A1, A2, A3, A4i  

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Japan Japan No

Prey / Diet

Gadus morhua (rock cod)[8]
Microgadus proximus (Tommy cod)[8]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale)1
Eumetopias jubatus (Steller Sea Lion)1
Gavia arctica (Black-throated Loon)1
Gavia immer (Great Northern Loon)1
Gavia stellata (Red-throated Loon)1
Halichoerus grypus (Gray Seal)1
Hippoglossus stenolepis (Pacific halibut)1
Lagenorhynchus albirostris (White-beaked Dolphin)1
Larus argentatus (Herring Gull)1
Pagophilus groenlandicus (Harp Seal)1
Phalacrocorax aristotelis (Shag)1
Phalacrocorax carbo (Great Cormorant)1
Phalacrocorax pelagicus (Pelagic Cormorant)1
Phoca vitulina (Harbor Seal)1
Prionace glauca (Tribon blou)1
Pseudorca crassidens (False Killer Whale)1
Uria aalge (Common Murre)1


Parasitized by 
Amphimerus arcticus <Unverified Name>[9]
Contracaecum rudolphii <Unverified Name>[9]
Dibothriocephalus ditremus[9]
Diplostomum gavium <Unverified Name>[9]
Dubininolepis fuhrmanni <Unverified Name>[9]
Erschoviorchis lintoni[9]
Ichthyocotylurus erraticus[9]
Polymorphus gavii[9]
Tetrabothrius macrocephalus[9]
Tylodelphys immer <Unverified Name>[9]

Range Map

North America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
6Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
7Alerstam T, Rosén M, Bäckman J, Ericson PGP, Hellgren O (2007) Flight Speeds among Bird Species: Allometric and Phylogenetic Effects. PLoS Biol 5(8): e197. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050197
8del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
9Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Specially protected natural territories of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access