Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Local to fairly common.
HABITAT: Inhabits montane and northern coniferous forests up to 10,000 feet in elevation, especially in burned-over areas with tall standing dead trees. Prefers forests of tall spruces, firs, balsams, and pines; groves of eucalyptus and Monterey cypress; taiga; subalpine coniferous forests; mixed woodlands near edges and clearings; and wooded streams and borders of northern bogs and muskegs. Prefers stands with a low percentage of canopy cover.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Tall, exposed perches such as snags or high, conspicuous dead branches.
NEST: Usually hides nests in a cluster of needles and twigs on a horizontal branch of a conifer, well away from the trunk, usually between 15 and 50 feet above the ground.
FOOD: Typically perches in tree tops and on high exposed limbs to hawk flying insects.
REFERENCES: Bent 1942, Beal 1912, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Johnsgard 1979, Terres 1980.