surface species northern
DIVER (ColyndadaY), a family of natatorial birds closely allied to the grebes, but differing from them in having the front toes entirely webbed, and in their lunch greater size. 'Their legs are placed at the further extremity of the body, and both wings and tail are short. This family contains only four species, three of which are common to the northern reffions of both hemispheres, while the fourth is exclusively North American. The largest species is the Great Northern Diver (Colyinbns It measures about 30 inches in length ; and in its full adult plumage, the male especially- is an exceedingly hand-some bird. The (*realer part of its upper surface is black, beautifully marke% with numerous rows of white spots ; the head and throat are also black, the latter relieved by two collars of white, spotted with black, while the greater part of the under surface is white. The Great Northern Diver lives chiefly on the ocean, feedinu on the smaller fish, as herrings and sprats, in pursuit obf which it dives beneath the surface with a facility to which it owes its common name. It can remain a long time under water, and by means of its feet and wings makes extraordinary progress beneath the surface, and while thus submerged it is sometimes taken with a baited hook, and has often been caught in herring and sahnon nets. It Las great difficulty in rising on the wing, but once aloft its flight is both vigorous and swift ; when in danger, however, it always resorts to divino. in preference to flying, and from its exceeding watchfc'ulness, and the great distance it can swim beneath the surface of the water, specimens of the Great Northern Diver are difficult to obtain. During the breed-ing season it retires to inland lakes, where it builds its nest within a few feet of the water's edge, and lays two, some-times three eggs, of an olive brown colour, sparingly spotted with a darker brown. The young do not attain their perfect plumage till the end of the third year. It remains in Britain during the greater part of the year, but there is no sufficiently satisfactory evidence of its ever breeding in this country ; from the shortness of its absence, however, its breeding ground is probably not further off than Iceland and Greenland. The Black-throated Diver (Colymbus arcticus), a. remarkably handsome species, and tbe Red-necked Diver (Colyinbus septentrionalis) also occur in Britain, where, unlike the former species, they remain to breed.