Red-Throated Diver

Scientific name: Gavia stellata

Did you know: The Red-Throated Diver, the smallest of the UK’s birds that dive, can stay submerged underwater for a minute and a half during its dives!

What Do Red-Throated Divers Look Like? (how to identify them)

Red-Throated Divers are recognised by their grey and brown plumage and up-tilted bill. In summer, they are known for their characteristic red throat. They are agile in water but quite clumsy on land, coming ashore only for breeding.

Differences Between Male And Female Red-Throated Divers

There are no significant visible differences between male and female Red-Throated Divers. Both sexes share a similar grey-brown plumage, with males slightly larger in size.

What Do Red-Throated Divers Eat?

Primarily, these birds feed on fish. They also occasionally consume amphibians, invertebrates, and even some plant materials.

Where Do Red-Throated Divers Live? (inc. migration info)

Red-Throated Divers breed in small lakes and lochs close to the sea in northern parts of the UK. They are migratory, spending winters in northern coastal waters and around the UK coastline, with larger numbers off the east coast.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Red-Throated Divers)

Their calls are varied, including a series of rapid cackles, a warning croaking bark, and a low-pitched moaning used primarily for mate and chick communication.

Fun Red-Throated Diver Facts (kid friendly)

  • They can dive and stay underwater for up to 90 seconds.
  • Red-Throated Divers are very skilled swimmers but awkward on land.
  • They have a unique red throat in the summer, which gives them their name.
  • They are known for jumping up before diving into the water.
  • This species can live for over 25 years.
  • They do long-term pair bonds with their mates.
  • In winter, they often form groups in coastal waters.
  • They are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act in the UK.
  • Chicks are precocial, meaning they can swim soon after hatching.
  • Their global population is considered stable, though some decline has been noted in certain areas.

Red-Throated Diver Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Red-Throated Diver

Diet: Fish.
Bird Family: Divers
Length: 53-69cm
Wingspan: 106-116cm
Weight: 1.2-1.6kg
Scientific Name: Gavia stellata

The Red-Throated Diver Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December