|About 19 inches long. Black upper parts with a white fan shaped patch
centered on a flat disk-like crest. Brownish tinge on the wings and tail. White underside
with chestnut flanks.
Inhabits woodlands bordering rivers and
ponds throughout most of eastern U.S., and Canada in the Hudson Bay region and as far west
as British Columbia. It nests from about 45 degrees latitude north to the Arctic Circle.
Common throughout the lower Mississippi River Valley in winter and some migrate as far as
Mexico and the Caribbean.
Lines a tree or stump cavity with grass, leaves and down.
Lays five to eighteen ivory white eggs which hatch after about one month of incubation.
The female parent coaxes the young out of the nest to water, teaches them to swim,
dive, gather food and defends them until they are ready to fly at about two months age.
Dives for small fish, insects, roots and seeds.