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A widespread species in the Northern Hemisphere.
In North America breeds in Alaska and much of western and central Canada east to Ontario and in the northern USA in Washington, Montana, North Dakota, northern South Dakota and Minnesota. Has also bred in Quebec and New Hampshire.
In Europe breeds mainly from Denmark and Germany eastwards, ranging north to central Finland and south to the Black Sea. Has bred irregularly in Britain and elsewhere in Western Europe. Breeds in scattered populations in Turkey and east to Central Asia and again in China, the Russian Far East including Sakhalin and Kamchatka, and Hokkaido, Japan.
Winters on both coasts of North America: in the west from the Aleutians south to northern California, rarely further south, and in the east from Nova Scotia south to Long Island, rarely north to Newfoundland and south to Florida. In Europe main wintering range lies in the Baltic, from southern Norway to Biscay including Britain, and in the Caspian Sea with smaller numbers in the northern Mediterranean and Black Seas.
Migratory and dispersive. North American race has occurred as a vagrant in Europe.
Small-medium, well-vegetated freshwaters.
It builds a nest of a heap of rotting vegetation, floating and attached to plants or built on the bottom in shallow water. 4-5 eggs, white initially, soon becoming stained, are laid and incubated by both sexes for 22-25 days. Young tended by both sexes for 56-70 days. Single-brooded.
Includes aquatic invertebrates and small fish taken in 30 second dives.
Vocal during breeding season uttering a variety of wailing, howling and roaring sounds. Silent in winter.
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