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bird Great Northern Divers

Latin name:  Gavia immer

Size:  Length approx 80cm, wingspan approx 135cm

Distribution:  Seen mainly off the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland.  Also on the northern coasts of Wales and Cornwall

Months seen:  Mostly September to May, but sometimes seen off coast in summer

Habitat:  Mostly around coast, but sometimes seen on inland reservoirs.

Food:  Fish and crustaceans

Special features:  Also known as the Common Loon or the Great Northern Loon.  This is the largest of the UK's divers, with a larger head and bill than its relatives.

They have a dark grey half collar, which is white on the throat.  The underside of the body is white and the upper surfaces are grey-brown.  The wings have alternating dark grey and paler grey stripes.  Juvenile birds have a more scalloped pattern on the wings.  There is a white ring around the dark eyes, and the beak is always held horizontal.

Great Northern Divers have been known to breed in the UK, but this is rare.  More usually they nest on freshwater lakes in Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, and Canada.

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