Red-throated Diver

The Red-throated Diver, known in North America as Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) is the smallest member of the loon or diver family. It is typically 55-67 cm (24″ to 27″) in length with a 91-110 cm wingspan. It is considered to be the most widely distributed diver and is known to breed in northern Eurasia and Arctic Canada. It winters over a much wider range on coasts and on large lakes.

Breeding adults have a grey head, red throat, white underparts and dark mantle. Non-breeding plumage is drabber with the chin, foreneck and much of the face white. Its thin upturned bill is grey or whitish; the upward turn is unique among diver species.

This species, like all divers, is a specialist fish-eater, diving over 25 feet to catch its prey. It is the only species of diver that can take off directly from land. It flies with neck outstretched.

The call is a yodeling, high-pitched wailing.

Other regional names include Cape drake, cape race, cobble, little loon, pegging-owl loon, pepper-shinned loon, rain-goose, scape-grace, sprat loon.