Gavia stellata - Red-throated loon:

Summary Information
Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Ciconiiformes / Gaviidae / Gavia / Species

This section is currently predominantly used in Wildpro to link different data types and demonstrate inter-relationships. Although it identifies that taxonomic interrelationships of species (see "header") it does not currently contain detailed information on the bird species itself. As WILDPro is developed, we will gradually convert these pages into full Species pages.

The taxonomy of birds is still under review and the A World Checklist of Birds by Burt L. Monroe, Jr and Charles G. Sibley (B89) has been chosen as the primary reference. The taxonomic structure will be amended when new editions or complete references are identified by the scientific world as the recognized primary references for taxonomy.

Alternative Names
  • Red-throated diver (B163)
Distribution General Range: Northern Holarctic; winters to southern Eurasia, north-western Mexico (B89)
Habitat Breeding - Shallow pools or marine inlets to deep freshwater lakes. Adults may need to fly to lakes or sea to feed if nest on small pools. (B163)
Further Information Feeding:
  • food - mainly fish; also aquatic invertebrates, insects and frogs
  • feeding behaviour - surface dives and seizes prey


  • location and structure - muddy ground; scrape or saucer of vegetation lined with few feathers and vegetation
  • nest building - male and female
  • breeding structure - monogamous


  • markings - patterned
  • number of eggs - 2 (1-3)
  • broods - one brood per season
  • incubation - mainly female, also male; 24-29 days


  • development - Precocial; fed by parents
  • parental caring for young - by male and female
  • fledging - 38-48 days

(B163, B164)

Organisations (UK Contacts):

Electronic Library (further reading):

General Legislation:

  • All Divers are listed on Schedule 1 - Part I (Birds protected by special penalties: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds protected by special penalties at all times") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)

Individual techniques:

Return to Top of Page