Arctic Species: Red-throated Diver​

A Red-throated Diver flying overhead resembles a bit a weird goose species. This is emphasised by the goose-like sound they make in flight. When they land on a tundra pond, however, the difference becomes apparent. They have a much more slender body and sit deeper in the water when swimming. Contrary to geese, they are rarely seen walking on land. For a good reason, their legs are at the far end of their body, needed for diving but making it nearly impossible to walk on land.
At closer inspection, and under good light, the red throat is visible, but at a greater distance, this often looks black.

Red-throated Diver - Roodkeelduiker - Gavia stellata
Red-throated Divers on a tundra pond

Red-throated Diver – Gavia stellata
Length: 55-67 cm, wingspan: 91-110cm
Only diver in the area, with a long neck and red throat.

Red-throated Divers breed near small tundra ponds, usually on tiny islands where they are safe from predation by foxes. When a partner returns, the other partner often welcomes him or her with a beautiful, loud call that can be heard from afar on the tundra. They feed at sea, where they dive for food as their name already indicates.


Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


  • JA!!! Deze zag ik bij Poolepynte en niemand kon me vertellen welke vogel ik nou gezien had.
    Bedankt, mysterie ontrafeld. 😀


    • If you come from the other side of the big pond, you might know it at a Red-throated Loon.
      Thank you for the compliment. It’s a difficult bird to photograph as they are really shy on their breeding grounds.

      Liked by 1 person

  • So funny that you got me a bit interested in the birds at this time, this sma lommen looked so familiar ,I had to check it up in the home waters surroundings in Ostrobothnia and YES, of course I have met this birds a lot back home. Thank you Arjen for this one too.


    • Ah, good I got you interested 😀And yes, I can imagine you can see this one at home as well, though it’s a bit more complicated there as you could also see the Black-throated Diver.


Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s