Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Common, locally abundant.
HABITAT: Inhabits sparsely wooded areas with low undergrowth, roadsides, fields, orchards, sandy reefs, and open sandy areas in forest and Savannah; over much of its range, is now primarily around farms and towns. In Texas, occurs in grassy mesquite-live oak-cactus Savannah and to some extent scrubby juniper-oak areas; in Georgia and South Carolina, occurs mainly near beaches and sea islands with tall beach grass. In Arizona, inhabits river bottomlands with mesquite or tamarisk woods.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open areas with plants that produce small seeds.
NEST: Uses a wide range of sites for nesting. May nest in a slight hollow on the ground, in a low bush, or in a tree, up to 25 feet above the ground.
FOOD: Feeds primarily on small seeds gathered from gardens and lawns, along roadsides, in fields, weed patches, or grassy areas. Also takes a few berries and some insects.
REFERENCES: Bent 1932, Forbush and May 1955, Goodwin 1967, Oberholser 1974a, Phillips et al. 1964.