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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Lawrence's Goldfinch -- Carduelis lawrencei

RANGE: Breeds from central California south to southern California, northwestern Baja California, and western Arizona. Winters from north-central California, central Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and western Texas south to northern Baja California, southern Arizona, and northern Sonora.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits oak woodlands, chaparral, riparian woodlands, pinyon-juniper associations, and weedy areas in arid regions, usually near water.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Scattered oak trees and water.

NEST: Prefers to nest in lichen-infested blue oaks that grow close together on dry slopes. Also nests in sycamores, and will often nest in small colonies. Locates nests about 20 feet above the ground in the forks of tree branches, usually 3 to 6 feet from the top of a main branch.

FOOD: Primarily eats seeds, gleaning them from foliage and the ground. Mostly eats weed seeds, but also shrub seeds and insects.

REFERENCES: Coutlee 1968, Linsdale 1957, Verner and Boss 1980.

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