Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Fairly common.
HABITAT: Found along rapidly flowing mountain streams in the West, with numerous falls and cascades, and beds filled with large rocks and boulders. Primarily in the vicinity of coniferous forests from 2,000 feet to timberline; less frequently found in the vicinity of mountain ponds and lakes.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Clear, permanent streams or rivers.
NEST: Usually locates nest over water, either under overhanging rock ledges or under bridges, from just above water level to 15 feet high. Places nest on a rock in midstream, behind a waterfall, or more commonly, in a niche in a rock wall, or sometimes among the roots of a fallen tree.
FOOD: Eats mainly insect larvae and adults, snails, and fish fry. Searches for food while completely submerged under fast-flowing water. Catches some insects in the air by hawking.
REFERENCES: Bakus 1959, Hann 1950, Johnsgard 1979, Thut 1970.