Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Locally common.
HABITAT: Found in the lower Rio Grande Valley, along river beds, streams, ponds, and stagnant watercourses among large trees of mesquite, huisache, palm, baldcypress, and willow, with thick undergrowth of shrubs and small trees. Also inhabits groves and orchards and is found in trees around ranches and urban areas.
NEST: Builds nest in trees or tall shrubs, usually 10 to 20 feet, but up to 30 feet, above ground in brushy sites, low woods, along streams, marshes, or lagoons, or in cultivated areas. May nest in mesquite, palm, pine, acacia, or in a thorny bush.
FOOD: Fishes for minnows, tiny fishes, and tadpoles by perching on a low branch overhanging water and diving, barely breaking the water's surface. Also eats water insects, flying insects, and some fruits and berries, especially in winter.
REFERENCES: Bent 1942, Oberholser 1974a, Terres 1980.