Divers are the North American loons - this is the Arctic Loon. It is bigger than the Red-throated and lacks the 'tip-tilted' rather delicate bill of that species. Its own beak is more dagger-like. It breeds on bigger bodies of freshwater and has a black throat with superbly patterned black and white stripes down the side of its long neck. Like the other divers it spends its winters at sea.
The calls are just as evocative and wilderness enhancing as the Red-throated - but the Great Northern takes that biscuit. Fish taken under water in dives lasting up to two minutes make up most of the food but shell-fish are also taken - and even small ducklings. British population just over 150 pairs.
Medium sized diver (loon), Pacific was thought to be same species.
Length 700 mm Closed wing 315 mm Weight 2,400 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead