Red Throated Divers - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Western Isles Birds -The Red-Throated Diver is a plain looking bird in winter, greyish above fading to white below.

During the breeding season, it acquires the distinctive reddish throat which gives rise to its common name.

The longer body and thicker neck distinguish it from grebes.

Bird sightings in the Western Isles.
Red THroated Divers - Bird Sightings - Stornoway - Western Isles
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Bird Overview - Red Throated Divers
Latin name
Gavia stellata
Similar Species
Black Throated Diver

The red-throated diver has a grey-brown plumage and up-tilted bill - in the summer it has the distinguished red throat. its up-curved bill is usually held pointing upwards.

Most of the year these birds are in their non breeding garb with a grey cap, mottled greyish back and clean white face,throat and neck. Except in very good light, the red throat can appear dark and almost black.

It is the last part of summer plumage to be lost in the autumn.

In winter the adult birds - these lovely red throated divers, have paler face and neck than juveniles, with the dark eye obvious to see against the white background. The upper parts have fine white speckling, which is never seen on other divers. The longer body and thicker neck distinguish it from grebes.

55–67 centimetres (22–26 in)
These birds arrive on their breeding grounds in April and depart in September and October. Birds from further north start to be seen off the UK's east and west coasts in August and September reaching a peak in October. Most birds move back north in March and April. When breeding these birds prefer the lochs -outside of the breeding season they are out at sea.
The red-throated diver eats mainly small fish which it will chase underwater, but may also take shellfish and crabs

These birds have a haunting mysterious call.

The red throated divers are very ungainly on land, only coming ashore to breed. |They build a nest which is a scrape almost on the shoreline, in danger of flooding, there are 2 eggs, just one brood between April and July

Misc. Info
Although it is the smallest of the UK’s diving birds, the red-throated diver can stay under water for a minute and a half after jumping up out of the water to dive The red-throated diver is steeped in mythology and is known as the rain goose. In the 19th Century, it was regarded as a foreteller of storms in many parts of the world.

Red throated divers take off much more easily than other divers .These birds regularly fly from their breeding loch to fish in the sea, calling in flight. Their wings are raised higher than other divers when they are in flight. Their wing beats are faster than other divers too.

A flying red throated diver in winter can be best identified by its slim build and pale head and neck, with the white face often obvious. The red throated divers feet are also smaller than those of other divers.

The Outer Hebrides are nationally important for divers and there are sites on the islands designated for the number of breeding birds. These include the Lewis Peatlands and Mointeach Scadabhaigh in North Uist.

In the winter many of the Red-throated Divers move further south although some remain throughout the year.

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