Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Inhabits brushy valleys, oak slopes, and other semiarid habitats where there are stiff-twigged and thorny bushes, or trees such as mesquite, hackberry, hawthorn, catclaw, screw bean, paloverde, and cholla.
NEST: Builds a nest that is an oval or ball-shaped mass, up to 8 inches in diameter, of thorny twigs anchored to a limb of almost any tree or shrub species found within its range. Also builds roosting or winter nests.
FOOD: Eats mostly insects, searching among terminal twigs, buds, and under leaves for insects, their eggs and larvae. Also eats spiders; pulp from seed pods of paloverde, mesquite, and ironwood; and fruits of wolf berry and date palm.
REFERENCES: Johnsgard 1979, Taylor 1971, Terres 1980, Whitaker 1943.