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Red-throated loon


Common name Red-throated loon
Scientific name Gavia stellata
Type Seabirds
Status Wintering

Mid-size aquatic bird (approx 69 cm or 27 in) with a stylized appearance. Discreet winter plumage. Grey back and crown with a soft white speckling. White underparts. White breast, neck and face up to eye level. During the summer season the face turns grey and the neck adopts reddish tones. In addition there are white stripes that go across the head and the back. When perched on the water it keeps the waterline low and it is very common that the bill is slightly upturned.


Marine environment

Where it lives

Arctic species linked to tundra wetlands. In winter it appears in the littoral zone, usually in sheltered coastal waters such as bays and estuaries.

How it lives

Exceptional wintering bird, considered a rarity in the province. Most of this loon's biological cycle takes place in the sea, except when it nests, usually in calm water wetlands. Nest on the water. One laying of 1 to 3 eggs. Diving bird that can travel long distances underwater and consumes mainly fish.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Very rare species in Malaga. There are few observations in the province, almost all in the mouth of the Guadalhorce or in the port of Fuengirola.

Curious facts

One of the last observations in the coast of Malaga of this species occurred during the winter of 2011-12, in which an individual took refuge inside the port of Fuengirola, where it engaged in feeding on fish that it caught under water between the docked boats. The photo that illustrates this card, taken by Birgit Kremer, corresponds to this individual.

Routes where it can be observed
Wintering Summer Resident Migration