RSPB
Skip navigation

Conservation status: Amber

The largest of the UK's divers, it has a bigger, heavier head and bill than its commoner relatives. It is largely a winter visitor to our shores although some non-breeding birds stay off northern coasts in the summer.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Gavia immer

Family

Divers (Gaviidae)

Where to see them

Around coasts where it is usually solitary, often farther out to sea than other divers. Occasionally seen inland on reservoirs. Largest numbers off the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland and also the Cornish coast.

When to see them

They start to arrive offshore in August and birds move back to their largely Icelandic breeding grounds in April and May.

What they eat

Fish and crustaceans

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--2,600 birds-

Distribution

Key