Red-throated Diver

Gavia stellata

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds
  3. Grebes and divers
  4. Red-throated Diver


The Red-throated Diver is a large waterbird: larger than the Great Crested Grebe but smaller than the Cormorant in size. Divers nest on small pools and lochs, moving to the coast for the winter where they feed on fish.

How to identify

The smallest of the divers, the Red-throated Diver has beautiful summer plumage, with a silky grey face and neck, and a red throat. In the winter, it turns a silvery-grey above and white underneath. It has a slightly upturned bill.

Where to find it

Nests in the far north of Scotland. In the winter, it can be seen on the sea around most coasts and sometimes turns up on big lakes and reservoirs.


When to find it

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

How can people help

The survival of our waterbirds is threatened by the loss and degradation of many of our wetland habitats. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Red-throated Diver
Latin name
Gavia stellata
Grebes and divers
Length: 58-68cm Weight: 2.3-3.4kg
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.