Fairly common but often local. Breeds in clearings and marshes in wet forest and woodland; migrants occur in fresh and brackish wetland habitats, especially on muddy shores of lakes and small ponds. Mainly found as singles or small groups, not mixed with other species. Bobs tail when nervous, but not habitually like Common Sandpiper. Plumage dark overall with white belly; in flight looks black above with boldly contrasting white rump. Often climbs steeply when flushed and flies quickly with deep wingbeats, swooping around a little like a swallow.