The Red-throated Diver is a holarctic species with an area of distribution covering the tundra and taiga in Eurasia and North America. Generally, the species breeds in small ponds on mires and in forests. The size of the Red-throated Diver population in Finland is estimated at 1 500 – 2 000 pairs. The Red-throated Diver extends its fishing trips to large lakes and bays, which are usually several kilometres from the pond it is nesting in. During the breeding season, pairs may gather on the same lake or pond to hold meetings during which they often run on the surface of the water chasing each other and quacking loudly. The Finnish name of the Red-throated Diver refers to the sound it makes.
Red-throated Diver preys mainly on fish. It can dive several hundred meters. In Finland, Red-throated Divers are threatened by fishing nets, but in their overwintering areas and on migratory routes oil often poses a threat. The Red-throated Diver is slow to reproduce, as it usually lays only two eggs. However, the yield is increased by the longevity of the species: according to ringing data, Red-throated Diver’s age record in Finland is 14 years. Red-throated Diver overwinters in open seas. Part of the population breeding in Siberia migrates via Finnish coasts both in spring and in autumn.
Text: Jukka Jokimäki & Marja-Liisa Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki
Read more about Red-throated Diver
Flying Arctic -frontpage.