Red-throated Diver

Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata) Bird Information

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Red-throated diver is the smallest of the divers and generally the most widespread and numerous throughout the year. Breeds on small lakes, usually within flighting distance of sea. Winters in coastal waters, often in loose flocks. Thin, uptilted bill. Pale grey crown and rust-red throat in summer. In pale grey or brown back, spotted white. like other divers, red-throated diver flies fast on long, pointed wings with head and neck drooping.

Status: Scarce but widespread breeder in northern and western Scotland and north-western Ireland. Winters along all shores.

Similar Species: Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver. All divers similar in winter, though Red-throated paler; smaller size distinguishes throughout year.

Red-throated diver bird facts

Typeduck-like
Size53-59 cm. (22 in.)
Habitatfreshwater, sea
Behaviourswims, dives from surface, takes off and lands on water
Flockingsummer solitary; small flocks winter
Flightstrong and powerful; direct
Voiceharsh kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk in flight; wails and cackles in breeding season

Bird Identification

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Ad.summer
CrownPale grey
Upperpartsbrown
Rumpbrown
Tailbrown; short and pointed
Throatrust-red
Breastwhite
Bellywhite
Billblack; short, thin, uplifted
Legsblack; short
Ad.winterwhite head and throat; grey cap; pale grey black-spotted white; grey bill
Juvenileas Ad.winter, darker back

Red-throated Diver Breeding

Nestscrap at water’s edge
Eggs2; olive buff-blotched black
Incubation24-29 days
Youngactive, downy
Fledging6 weeks
Broods1; May-September
Foodfish, amphibians
Population750+ pairs; 12,000+ winter

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