The Yellow-billed loon, the largest of the world’s five loon species, and also the rarest, has oneof the highest nesting densities in the world on the central Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska (Earnstet al. 2005). In Alaska, this species typically breeds on the edges of relatively deep (>2 m), large(usu. >12 ha) fish-bearing lakes (http://alaska.fws.gov/). Little is known about their diet inAlaska, but they are believed to depend on several fish species, with cisco (Coregonus spp.)being the most important (J. Schmutz, pers. comm.). Although previously thought to winter offthe coast of the Pacific Northwest, new evidence suggests the North American breedingpopulation winters in East Asia from the western Kuril Islands to the Yellow Sea (J. Schmutz etal., unpublished data). Earnst et al. (2005) estimates that <1000 nesting pairs breed in n. Alaska.
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