Arctic Species: Red-throated Diver

The Red-throated Diver is more often heard as seen. It typically starts with a goose-like cackling, which can be heard when they fly overhead. When they land at their pond and greet their partner they become even more vocal and their ‘song’ can be heard at a long distance.

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

Getting to see one, is a different story though. They are notoriously shy animals and are easily scared away when you approach the pond they are breeding on. For this reason, we often keep our distance to those small lakes on the tundra, as we don’t want to disturb their nest.

Red-throated Divers are the only regularly occurring species of diver on Spitsbergen. They feed on small fish and aquatic invertebrates, which they catch by diving (as you could have guessed from its name). In winter, they leave the archipelago and spent the winter along the coast of Norway and in the North Sea.

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.

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