Nests in large freshwater marshes (semi-permanently and seasonally flooded palustrine wetlands with persistent emergent vegetation; optimum nesting conditions are wetlands that are 2 ha or more and not more than 0.4 km from a large permanent or semi-permanent lake; nests usually are placed in dense bulrush or cattail stands that are interspersed with small areas of open water; nests usually are within 3-4 m of open water (Custer 1993). Broods use shallow ponds if emergent vegetation is available for escape cover; later, access to deeper water with ample pondweeds is important (Custer 1993). After nesting, many move to large lakes to molt (Custer 1993). In B.C., breeds from 330 to 1,000 m in shallow freshwater lakes, marshes, ponds, and sloughs (Campbell et al. 1990).
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, and M. C. E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1 and 2, Nonpasserines. UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Custer, C. M. 1993. Life history traits and habitat needs of the redhead. Part 13.1.11 of Waterfowl management handbook. 7 pp.