Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Uncommon; once common, but has largely disappeared north of the border, probably as a result of habitat destruction and the spraying of insecticides.
HABITAT: Inhabits semiarid lowlands dominated by woods or scrubby growth, preferring dense thickets, flowering bushes, and tangled vines along the banks of streams and ponds, resacas, and gullies. Also occurs in semiarid coastal scrub in open woods, chaparral thickets, farms and gardens, and in citrus groves.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Flowers for nectar.
NEST: Places nest 3 to 8 feet above the ground on a small drooping limb or horizontal fork of a twig in a small tree or bush such as anacahuita, ebony blackbead, or hackberry, but sometimes in willow. Often choses a nest site that is near a road, trail, or other clearing.
FOOD: Feeds on the nectar of native flowers and eats insects.
REFERENCES: Johnsgard 1983b, Oberholser 1974a, Terres 1980.