Two divers on a lake at sunset


Divers, also commonly known as loons, are water birds found in north America, Europe and Asia. There are five living species all in the same family (gaviidae) and order (gaviiformes). All divers sit low in the water and have a body shape that's streamlined for diving. They are also powerful underwater swimmers. Their distinctive calls include hoots, tremoloes, yodels and a wail that sounds oddly similar to a wolf's howl.

Scientific name: Gavia

Rank: Genus

Common names:



Map showing the distribution of the Divers taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.


The loons (North America) or divers (UK/Ireland) are a group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Eurasia. All living species of loons are members of the genus Gavia, family Gaviidae and order Gaviiformes.

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  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Gaviiformes
  6. Gaviidae
  7. Divers