Podiceps Latham, Gen. Synopsis Birds, Suppl., i, p. 294 (1787).
Type by orig. desig., Colymbus cristatus Linn.
In this genus the bill is straight, compressed and sharply pointed; the oblong nostrils are placed close to the base; the tail consists of short downy feathers, difficult to detect among the coverts; the tarsus is much compressed and is covered with scutellae in front and with serrations behind. The wings are very small, yet the birds have considerable powers of flight and some are highly migratory.
The young in down are striped.
Key to Species.
A. Wing 176 to 211 mm.; head in adult furnished with full ruff of elongated leathers…………….. P. cristatus, p. 477.
B. Wing 123 to 127 mm.; sides of head in adult decorated with long hair-like plumes from
eye to neck P. nigricollis, p. 480.
C. Wing 94 to 109 mm.; adults without any decoration of long feathers on head or neck. …………….. P. ruficollis, p. 481.