views updated

Heliornithidae (sungrebes, finfoots; class Aves, order Gruiformes) A family of small to large, olive-brown or brown birds, which have a long, thin head, and broadly lobed toes. They inhabit the edges of rivers and lakes, feed on insects, molluscs, and small aquatic invertebrates, and nest low in bushes. They swim, dive, and run well, but rarely fly. There are three monotypic genera, found in Central and S. America, Africa, and southern Asia.