I am a small, dark bird found in freshwater marshes. You will see me buoyantly flying low over the water or marsh grasses, a dark shadow zig-zagging to catch insects on the wing. My closest bird relatives tend to be a crisp black and white, but I am the black sheep of the bunch.
In Vermont, the best place to see me is at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge where I like to nest. My nest is built on floating masses of grasses in the marshes with many other birds of my kind in a loose colony.
On Lake Champlain, I am right on the edge of my breeding territory and am listed as threatened in Vermont. The refuge staff come out and count my numbers every year and work hard to protect the marsh habitat from invasive species and disruption by boaters.
Who Am I?