Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Abundant on breeding grounds; local in interior.
HABITAT: Breeds in arctic and subarctic tundra, preferring areas of wide, moist tundra covered with grassy tussocks or hummocks and interspersed with ponds and streams. Inhabits moist sedge meadows, swampy flats, marshes, and moist grasslands, preferring sedge tussocks or ridges covered with low willows, or dwarf birch intermixed with heath. Avoids extremely wet areas unless elevated sites are available. In winter, found in stubble fields, barren grounds, beaches, prairies, or open weedy meadows.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Moist tundra on relatively level terrain with elevated sites such as tussocks, hummocks, or low ridges, and concealing vegetation.
NEST: Usually places nest in a depression in the side of a small hummock or tussock, protected by overhanging grass, sedge, or leafy twigs of shrubs. Uses drier, elevated sites for nesting rather than low, wet, surrounding terrain.
FOOD: In summer, eats mostly insects and the seeds of a variety of plants; in winter, feeds mainly on seeds of weeds and grasses. Gleans food from the ground.
REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Jehl 1968, Williamson in Bent 1968c.