Range: North America, Central America and northern South America (Peru & northern Chile). Found in a variety of habitats including grassland, lawns and areas of dried mud. Non-breeding birds may form small parties. Birds from the north move southwards in winter. Occasionally reaches Europe as a vagrant (more than 60 records), generally in late November through to late March and mostly in the west (Britain and Azores). Arrival during the winter may reflect birds that have displaced by freezing weather in North America.
This spectacular but noisy shorebird
is a familiar sight in North America. Potential predators are mobbed from
the air, the bird uttering it strident drawn out "kill deee, dee dee" call.
The last syllable may be repeated multiple times. May also utter agitated
"dee dee dee".
Fig. 2. Detail of the head. Notice the crimson red eye ring.
Fig. 3. This view highlights the long tail. The tips are heavily abraded in this bird (pre-basic molt?) and strangely appear tipped in orange! Although not visible, the uppertail coverts are orange. The scapulars are neatly edged in rufous-brown.