Successful scheme provides ‘life rafts' for rare Scottish bird
July 2013. A pioneering project to recreate ideal breeding habitat for one of Scotland's rarest birds on some Scottish lochs has met with remarkable success. The black-throated diver, a species that only breeds in freshwater lochs in the north-west of the country, is benefitting from the scheme to create special floating rafts that provide the necessary conditions to breed and raise chicks.
Although graceful in the water, it's a different story on land. Black-throated divers must nest close to the water's edge as their legs are set so far back on their bodies that they are very poor at walking, instead shuffling around on their bellies.
Hydro power causes problems
This makes the birds highly susceptible to changes in water level, often on lochs used to generate hydro-electric power. If water levels are too high nests are prone to flooding and if too low, adult birds may be unable to reach their nests when returning from feeding.