Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Inhabits coastal and interior lowlands, primarily black fly-infested muskeg swamps in taiga up to treeline. Outside the breeding season it occurs on freshwater lakes, rivers, and sloughs, wet meadows, flooded fields, estuaries, shallow coastal waters, bays, and inlets.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Ponds or lakes in swampy muskeg flanked by short to medium conifers.
NEST: Nests in dispersed colonies or noncolonially, from 4 to 20 feet above ground in branches or stumps of spruce, fir, and tamarack, and near water. May also nest in reeds, on mudflats of temporary potholes, and in clumps of bulrushes.
FOOD: Forages in a variety of habitats associated with water, such as marshy ponds, freshwater marshes, rivers, lakes, estuaries, salt marshes, beaches, bays, and open ocean. Eats small fishes, insects, spiders, snails, crustaceans, and marine worms.
REFERENCES: Bent 1921, Clapp et al. 1983, Cramp and Simmons 1983.