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Red-throated diver

Spotting these ‘rain geese’ makes a visit to the west and north of Scotland’s remote moorlands very special.

Conservation action has helped the red-throated diver, a species vulnerable to disturbance, water-level changes and predation.

Red-throated divers have a distinctive, haunting call and put on amazing water courtship displays.

The primitive-looking birds use the shores of hill lochans for nesting.

Red-throated divers are vulnerable to:

  • disturbance
  • changes in water level
  • predation by non-native species like American mink

The species has been helped by positive conservation action, including the provision of artificial floating islands for birds to nest on.

Protection of red-throated divers

Find out how Scotland’s wild birds are protected.

Learn about birds and licensing.