The Gruiformes as a group occupy diverse habitats. Sun-grebes are aquatic, and generally live in marshes, lakes, and streams. Sunbitterns live in rainforests and swamps. Limpkins live in marshes or swamps. Cranes live in freshwater and marine wetlands. Rails live near swamps, marshes, and lakes. Trumpeters live in tropical rainforests. Kagus inhabit forestlands. Mesites live in a wide variety of habitats, including rainforest, deciduous forest, and dry scrubland. Seriemas occupy grassland habitats. Bustards live in brush and scrub habitats as well as open grassland.

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