Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Occurs along the coast, rarely straying farther than a mile from tidal waters, where it inhabits saltwater beaches, towns, and the wooded shores of bays, especially where there are small coniferous trees.
NEST: Nests in scattered pairs or in loose colonies, usually in a crotch of a low tree or bush 10 to 20 feet, but up to 70 feet, above the ground. Occasionally builds nest on the ground under overhanging boulders, under bushes or windfalls, on the side of a sandy bank, or in a hole in a cliff. Will locate nest in apple, hemlock, Douglas-fir, and spruce trees.
FOOD: Scavenges refuse from beaches, along with mollusks and other shellfishes. Forages for insects, especially grasshoppers, in nearby cultivated fields. Also eats crabs, mussels, dead fish and other carrion, eggs of other birds, and wild and cultivated fruits.
REFERENCES: Bent 1946, Goodwin 1976, Terres 1980, Wilmore 1977.