Range coast to coast, with the largest numbers in the Central Flyway. Migratory flocks travel in V's; move in irregular formations over feeding areas. Often found associating with canvasback. In the air, they give the impression of always being in a hurry.
Usually spend the day in large rafts in deep water; feed morning and evening in shallower sections. Drakes purr and meow; hens have a loud squak, higher than a hen mallard's.