The black-throated loon (Gavia arctica), also known as the Arctic loon and the black-throated diver, is a migratory aquatic bird found in the northern hemisphere, primarily breeding in freshwater lakes in northern Europe and Asia. It winters along sheltered, ice-free coasts of the north-east Atlantic Ocean and the eastern and western Pacific Ocean. This loon was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. It has two subspecies. It was previously considered to be the same species as the Pacific loon, of which it is traditionally considered to be a sister species, although this is debated. In a study that used mitochondrial and nuclear intron DNA, the black-throated loon was found to be sister to a clade consisting of the Pacific loon and two sister species, the common loon and the yellow-billed loon.
The black-throated loon measures about 70 cm in length. In breeding plumage, the adult of the nominate subspecies has mostly black upperparts, with the exception of some of the and , which have white squares. The head and hindneck are grey, and the sides white and striped black. Most of the throat is also black, giving this bird the name "black-throated loon". The colour of the throat patch can be used to distinguish the two subspecies; the throat patch of the other subspecies, G. a. viridigularis, is green. The underparts are mostly white, including the bottom of the throat. The flanks are also white, a feature which can be used to separate this bird from the Pacific loon. When it is not breeding, the black patch on the throat is absent, replaced with white; most of the black lines on the throat are also missing, except those on the bottom sides, and the upperparts are unpatterned with the exception of a few white spots on the . The juvenile is similar to the non-breeding adult, except more brown overall.
The timing of the breeding season is variable; in the southern part of its range, this loon starts breeding in April, whereas in the northern portion, it waits until after the spring thaw. It builds an oval-shaped nest that measures about 23 cm across, either near the breeding lake or on vegetation emerging from it. The black-throated loon usually lays a clutch of two, rarely one or three, brown-green eggs with dark splotches. After an incubation period of 27to 29days, the chick hatches, and is fed a diet of small fish and invertebrates. This contrasts with the mostly fish diet of the adult. To catch this food, it forages by itself or in pairs, very rarely foraging in groups. It dives from the water, going no deeper than . Most dives are successful. Whether or not at least one chick will hatch from a nest is variable, ranging from 30% to 90%. Most failures come from predators and flooding. Overall, the population of this loon is declining, although the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) still rates it as least concern, because the population decline is not rapid enough. The black-throated loon is protected under both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.