Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Locally common in summer range; uncommon in winter.
HABITAT: Inhabits a broad belt of coniferous forest or taiga across Canada and Alaska during summer; strongly prefers forest edges, open willow brush, and brush-bordered swamps and bogs. Prefers semi-open country with short grasses and scattered trees or shrubs during winter.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Elevated perches, short vegetation.
NEST: Builds a bulky, loose nest of twigs, in spruces, willows, or bushes, 5 to 20 feet above the ground.
FOOD: Attacks prey from an elevated perch by hawking or hovering, then diving and pouncing. Mostly eats small birds and mammals; also eats insects (especially grasshoppers and crickets), and some snakes, lizards, and frogs.
REFERENCES: Bent 1950, DeGraff et al. 1980, Eckert in Farrand 1983c, Miller 1931, Terres 1980.