Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Diver, any bird of the genus Colymbus, constituting the family Colymbideo with three species, all confined to the seas of the Arctic and North Temperate zones. The bill is straight and strong, about as long as the head; nostrils basal; the legs very far back, with three toes all webbed, in front, and a small hind toe; wings short; tail short and rounded. All live out at sea, except during the breeding season; they are strong on the wing, and dive with great eeese, pursuing fish, on which they feed, under water. The great Northern Diver, Loon, or Ember Goose (C. ylaeialis), which generally breeds in the Arctic regions, coming southwards in winter, when it is not uncommon on our cbasts, is from 30 in. to 36 in. long. The head is black with metallic lustre, cheeks and back of neck dull black; back black, spotted and streaked with white, the markings becoming longer towards the breast; neck and upper part of breast white with black spots, and two rings of black: breast and abdomen white. Immature birds are greyish black above and dull white beneath. C. arcticus, the Black-throated Diver, is about 26 in. long, and is boldly barred with black and white on the back and tertiaries; the back of head and. neck light ash, chin and throat black. It is a common water visitant, and sometimes stays to breed in the northern parts of Great Britain. C. septentrionalis, the Red-throated Diver, about 24 in. long, brownish-grey above, white below, with a conical red patch on the throat, is common in the estuary of the Thames. It may often be seen pursuing shoals of sprats, whence it is called the Sprat Loon, and in Scotland, where it is considered to be a harbinger of bad weather, it is known as the Rain Goose. Sometimes the term Divers is used so as to include penguins, puffins, grebes, etc., and then the species of Colymbus are called Northern Divers.