They are found in western North America, Europe, Africa and Eurasia.
In the summer, they live on ponds and lakes. In the winter, they migrate south to coastal habitats.
They are small waterbirds reaching only about 13-14 inches (35 cm) long. In summer, they are black with golden flanks and ear tufts. They have red eyes and a thin, dark, upturned bill. Their winter plumage is black and gray with a white ear patch.
They dive for water insects or skim them off the water's surface. On sunny mornings, they can be seen with their back to the sun, taking in its warmth.
They eat small fish, water insects, shrimp and other small crustaceans.
Females lay up to 8 bluish-white eggs in a nest woven of water plants and secured among the reeds or cattails on the edge of the lake or pond. Chicks can follow their mother out onto the water within hours of hatching.
Species P. nigricollis
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