[CT Birds] Pacific Loon at Quassy

Julian Hough jrhough1 at snet.net
Tue Nov 10 14:52:29 EST 2009

Congrats to Greg for a great find of a bird that is quite an enigma in CT. 
Finally, the dam has burst!
The lack of reports of Pacific Loon in CT and why it gives records 
committees problems, was outlined in an article I did recently for the CT 
Warbler in the hopes that it would help highlight some of the identification 
pitfalls posed by this species.

Little did we know it would come so soon.

Coincidentally, the only previous record was from West Haven in '95 seen 
solely by Mr. Hanisek himself, so it is fitting that he should be the one to 
find and quickly identify this bird to absolve himself of the guilt of 
keeping this species to himself for all this time.

Great job!

The bird is rather easy to identify, a sleek, serpentine-necked loon with a 
small, pointed bill, dark eas-coverts, dark flanks and a nice pale gray 
nape. Due to distance and shadow, it is hard to discern whether it has any 
necklace or whether shadows are playing a part. Only 50% of juveniles 
exhibit this feature anyway, so a lack of a chinstrap in not an indicator of 

Julian Hough,
jrhough1 at snet.net


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