How to Draw a Common Loon

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Common Loon in 8 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Common Loon.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Common Loon - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Draw the long "V" shaped beak on a sideways angle. From the top line draw a curved line down to make the head. Draw a short line back from the bottom beak line.

Step 2: Draw a straight line from the tip of the beak to just under the tip of the head line. At the end of this mouth line draw the small round eye.

Step 3: Continue the bottom head line down into the body line. It curves to the left and then curves to the right all the way to the bottom. Extend the back of the head line down and then bend it sharply to the right and curve it down the same length as the body line.

Step 4: Join the bottom of those two lines with a small bump to make the tail.

Step 5: At the bottom left of the body line draw two lines to make a short straight leg. At the end of the leg draw three very long toes. There is a line joining the tips of the toes. This makes the webbing.

Step 6: Just above the first foot draw the three webbed toes of the other foot.

Step 7: There are two wings between the front and back body lines. The left wing is a long almost oval shape with a pointy tip almost to the tail. The right wing is just a small oval along the back line.

Step 8: Draw a large squiggle line from the mouth to the front of the neck line. Finish with assorted wavy feather patterns along the body.

Interesting Facts about the Common Loon (Gavia immer):

The Common Loon is an aquatic bird with distinctive black and white breeding plumage, bright red eyes and a black dagger-shaped bill. They are 66 to 91 centimeters in size, can weigh from 3 to 5 kilograms and can live for up to 30 years in the wild. The Common Loon’s diet includes plants, amphibians, insects and fish. They catch their prey by diving, and can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time. Most birds have hollow bones, but the Common Loon has solid bones to help them stay under water more easily.

Did you know?

  • The Common Loon is the symbol of the U.S. state of Minnesota.
  • Scientists believe that Common Loons mate for life.
  • Mated pairs of Common Loon return to the same breeding grounds each year.
  • The Common Loon is sometimes called the “Spirit of Northern Waters.”
  • Each year, adult Common Loons become temporarily unable to fly, as they molt (shed) their flight feathers for the winter.
  • The Common Loon’s cry is an eerie wail that can be heard great distances over the water.

The Common Loon is not considered an endangered species, but there are still threats to its survival. They like very quiet, peaceful bodies of water, so when people fish, boat and camp along the lakes where the Common Loon breeds, it can have a negative effect on how successfully its reproductive efforts are. In addition, the lead from fishing tackle and pollution from oil spills, acid rain and mercury contamination are all threats to the Common Loon as well.