Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Inhabits the edges of ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams and open terrain with temporary pools, up to 14,000 feet elevation. It is sometimes found far from water in dry fields, pastures, and weedy shoulders of roads, occasionally on coastal beaches and dunes. Roosts on stumps, stranded logs, or rocks affording a clear view. In winter, frequents watercourses shaded by trees, and prefers shallow, muddy lagoons, creeks, canals, and higher mudflats.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Margins of freshwater bodies.
NEST: Builds solitary or loosely colonial nests on the ground, among thick, tall grasses, occasionally under a bush or log, and usually near water.
FOOD: Forages ashore or in shallow water, picking up insects and other small invertebrates. Eats fly larvae, pupae, and adults; mayflies; grasshoppers; crickets; mole crickets; worms; mollusks; crustaceans; and spiders.
REFERENCES: Cramp and Simmons 1983, DeGraff et al. 1980, Knowles 1942, Palmer 1967.