Black-throated Diver (Gavia Arctica ) Bird Information


Black-throated Diver intermediate in size between Red-throated and Great Northern Divers.  Breeds on larger lakes and winters offshore. In summer, largely black and white with two chequered ovals on back. In black-throated diver, Neck striped black and white with black foreneck. In winter, upperparts plain slate-brown in adult; slightly mottled in juvenile. White patch on rear flanks often obvious. Dark of crown extends below eye giving masked effect.

Status: scarce breeder in the north and west Scotland. Winters along all shores, mostly in the west.

Similar Species: Red-throated Diver always paler and more slightly built. Great Northern Diver has more massive head and bill and black, not grey, head in summer, chequered bach Summer.

Black-throated Diver Bird Facts

Size56-69 cm (25 in.)
Habitatfreshwater, sea
Behaviourswims, dives from surface, takes off and land on water
Flockingsummer solitary; small flocks winter
Fightstrong and powerful; direct
Voicegrunts, croaks and loud wailing in breeding season



Upperpartsblack and white, with two chequered ovals
Tailblack; short and pointed
Billblack; straight and pointed
Legsblack; short
Ad.winterdark above, white below, white patch on rear flanks
Juvenileas Ad.winter, speckly above


Nestscrape at water’s edge
Egg2; olive-brown, blotched black
Incubation28-29 days
Youngactive; downy
Fledging9 weeks
Broods1; May-September
Foodfish, amphibians
Population150 pairs; 1300 winter

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