RSPB
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Conservation status: Amber

These streamlined diving birds sit low in the water and dive with consummate ease. On land they are clumsy, barely able to walk with their legs so far back on their bodies. They are easily disturbed when breeding and their vulnerability to marine pollution make them a vulnerable as well as rare breeding species.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Gavia arctica

Family

Divers (Gaviidae)

Where to see them

Scottish Highland lochs in summer and around sheltered coasts in winter, but rarely along Irish Sea coasts. Moray Firth and W coast of Scotland best in winter, as well as the NE and SW coasts of England. Sometimes seen at inland reservoirs.

When to see them

During sumer in Scotland, moving to coasts in early autumn. Look around coasts in winter.

What they eat

Fish

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
51-92,000 pairs190-250 pairs560 birds-

Distribution

Key

In the UK
NW Scotland (breeding) and around UK coast (winter)
In Europe
Breeds from Arctic south to UK and winters down to the Mediterranean
Worldwide
Europe and Asia

Audio

Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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