Common Loon (gavia immer)
Dating back 60 million years, the common loon is one of the earth's oldest living bird species. Its name comes from a Norwegian word that means "wild, sad cry." Approximately 12,000 make their homes in Minnesota. Loons are large black-and-white birds with long black bills. Clumsy on land, they are excellent divers, underwater swimmers, and high-speed flyers.