All sungrebe species require overhanging trees or other forms of dense cover over aquatic bodies. They are found in swamps and other wetland habitats, as well as ponds, lakes, dams, and a wide variety of rivers and streams, from coastal creeks to mountain streams as high as 6,600 feet (2,000 meters) in elevation. Although sungrebes and finfoots are sometimes found in fast-flowing streams, most prefer slow-moving currents or still water. Some populations inhabit flooded rainforests.

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