Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata
Occurs commonly along the coasts, and nests by fresh water over the whole island group. Most often seen singly or in pairs, but flocks of up to 20 can occur. The population numbers more than 1000 pairs.
Features: 55-67 cm, 1,5-1,7 kg. ♂=♀. Adult birds are in summer plumage when they are on Svalbard. At a distance it gives the impression of a slender and upright dark bird when on the water. In flight the long wings, slender neck, and feet that project behind the body are characteristic. The throat often appears dark, but in good light conditions one can see that it is red. The head and bill are often held slightly up-tilted. The young of the year resemble adults in winter plumage, and they stay together with the adults until they leave the island group in September.
Breeding: Builds a nest mainly of moss next to the water’s edge in fresh water and seeks food in salt water. At some places more than 15 pairs of breeding birds can gather. Such gatherings are found at larger water bodies, and most often on islands where there are no Arctic foxes.