Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Local and uncommon in United States.
HABITAT: Occurs in mixed coniferous-hardwood forests, but prefers extensive growth of stunted spruce in close proximity to open grasslands. Also inhabits dense alder thickets and forest edges.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Abandoned woodpecker holes in dead or live trees for nesting.
NEST: Prefers abandoned northern flicker or pileated woodpecker cavities in conifers, but will also nest in woodpecker holes in deciduous trees. Usually locates nest 10 to 25 feet above the ground. Sometimes nests in natural cavities and rarely in abandoned bird nests.
FOOD: Preys primarily on small mammals such as lemmings, voles, and mice. Also eats insects, bats, some frogs, salamanders, small snakes and lizards, and during the nesting season, a few birds.
REFERENCES: Heintzelman 1979, Karalus and Eckert 1974.